Theme: THE END OF THE WORLD: THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST
- Wisdom 18:6-9;
- Psalm 32 (33):1. 12. 18-20. 22. R/ v. 12;
- Hebrews 11:1-2. 8-12. (Shorter Form)
- Luke 12:35-40 (Shorter Form)
Today is the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. The gospel today tells us about the end of the world, that is, the end of the evil world, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when all will be saved!
The gospel today tells us that Jesus will come a second time, but we do not know when.
That is why we must always be ready for his Second Coming! Thus the “Gospel Acclamation” today:
“Stay awake and stand ready, because you do no know the hour when the Son of Man is coming.” (Mt 24:42. 44; SM)
And thus the gospel today ends:
“You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Lk 12:40; SM)
To prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of time, we must pray, we must do the will of God, and we must be detached from the world!
The first reading tells us that when Jesus Christ comes a second time he will destroy sin and death completely and finally and he will save the whole world!
The first reading tells us about the destruction of the first-born of the Egyptians and the salvation of the Israelites in the Exodus from Egypt! Thus the caption of the first reading:
“By the same act with which you took vengeance on our foes you made us glorious by calling us to you.” (Ws 18:8; SM)
But more importantly, the first reading prefigures the second and new Exodus of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit destroys sin and saves us from death! Today the Holy Spirit continues to destroy sin and saves us from death in the Sacrament of Baptism!
But most importantly, the first reading prefigures the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of time when sin and death will be completely destroyed and we will all be saved!
The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the Sunday. The responsorial psalm tells us that as baptized Christians we are the chosen people of God and as we prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ we are to hope and pray for his love and he will rescue us from death!
The responsible psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza (vv. 1 & 12) tells us that as baptized Christians we are the chosen people of God! Thus the response which is taken from the first stanza:
“Happy are the people the Lord has chosen as his own.” (Ps 32 (33): 12; SM)
The second stanza (vv. 18-19; SM) tells us to hope in God’s love and he will save us from death! The third stanza (vv. 20 & 22) tells us to pray and hope in God’s love and he will save us from death! (IBC)
Incidentally, the second reading also follows the theme of the Sunday. The second reading tells us that we have to hold on to our faith until the end of our lives and until the end of the world, even and especially in the face of persecutions and the Lord will save us!
The second reading was addressed to the Jewish Christians who were persecuted and who were losing their faith! (NJB; CCB)
The second reading gives us the example of Abraham! Abraham held on to his faith even in the face of many obstacles! Abraham had to go to a land he did not know. He was promised a son in his old age and his wife was barren. And finally he was asked to sacrifice Isaac, the son of the promise! (Longer Form, vv. 17-19; SM) But, because of his faith, Abraham was blessed with many descendants, as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the grains of sand on the seashore!
We are therefore to hold on to our faith to the end of our lives and to the end of the world, even in the face of persecutions and we will be blessed with salvation!
Today we thank God for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins and for saving us from death. And we ask God to continue to give us the Holy Spirit to help us to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when all will be saved! Again, we prepare for the Second
Coming of Jesus Christ by prayer, by doing the will of God and by detaching ourselves from the world! God bless you!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.