Sunday 18 November 2018

Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Daniel 12:1-3
Responsorial Psalm 16:5, 8, 9-11 Response 1
Second Reading Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
Gospel Mark 13:24-32

Renovations in earnest have begun in the sanctuary at church. Over the last few years the ceiling has been redone, the raw polish grey concrete has been painted, and now the biggest change, the altar area will be switched from carpet to tile, and the area under the pews will be getting new carpet. The choir area is moving, as is the Our lady of Fatima statue. 

Construction started later than hoped and will now flow into advent. I have been holding off on leading anew altar server training because with the renovations a lot will be changing in how mass is served. I did not want to train new servers and then need to retrain them within a few months. But that decision is leaving us low on servers, especially for advent, Christmas, and Christmastide. 

At mass last night and again this morning, the renovations caused me to reflect upon our own internal renovations. Some people buy a house and renovate it room by room, and when done sell and start over. Others buy a house and just continuously make changes. C.S. Lewis once stated:

“Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth.” 

Our life should not be about making continuous changes just for the sake of change. But we should be striving for self improvement, working for change and growth in mind, body, and spirit. Author Robert Wolff wrote:

“The one thing you can be absolutely sure of in your life is change. It's the only thing that never changes. The law of nature is that you either grow or you die; there's no in-between. So, what have you chosen so far?”

And that is what we need to strive for. To pursue, to hunger and thirst for is growth. Growth in God and his ways. Growth in love and compassion. Growth in all areas of our lives. The end of today’s first reading states:

“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightest of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

We need to be working on renovating our lives, our wills, our attitudes, and our actions so that we are a good witness to what we believe. Our rock, our foundation is Christ Jesus, the response for this weekend’s mass is:

“Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.”

We are reminded at the end of the second reading about Christ’s perfect offering, and that our sanctification is in him. And the end of the gospel ties it all together. We need to be prepared! 

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the Angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

We need to be prepared! We need to live as if Jesus could return any day. I was recently asked why I went to mass two days in a row. We believe Christ is present, in the tabernacle, in the eucharist. How Could I not want to spend time with him, and to receive him. I love when our family schedule works to attend daily masses. And I notice it greatly when I miss a weekend mass, even when it is unavoidable like travel or illness. 

So, my prayer for you this week is that you work on some small change in order to be more prepared. Do not change just for the sake of change, but work on change as a means of growth! And please continue prayer for my family and me. 

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