The Gospel Today
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“In those days after that tribulation
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from the sky,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
“And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’
with great power and glory,
and then he will send out the angels
and gather his elect from the four winds,
from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.
“Learn a lesson from the fig tree.
When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves,
you know that summer is near.
In the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that he is near, at the gates.
Amen, I say to you,
this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.
“But of that day or hour, no one knows,
neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Reflection (Sem. Jasper S. Bautista)
The Gospel narrative tells us not only of tribulation and judgment, but also of the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When I was a child, I have heard not only from the elders in our barrio but also from some learned people about the Second Coming. They made stories of how it would be. There would be earthquakes, tidal waves, tornadoes and all the calamities we could think of. With the way it was presented, I perceived it as a fatal destruction of the world where almost all the earth’s inhabitants would die and the ones who would be left will be the “saved ones.” I did not try to read the Book of Revelation for they said it was all described there.
I got so scared. I thought of my family, loved ones and friends. How terrifying it would be to see them perish! Sometimes I thought how vile God could be in destroying His beautiful creation. I even got more scared when I thought of how I would die in that destruction. The Second Coming for me that time was all about death and devastation.
I began to doubt the teachings I was given. I questioned if I was informed correctly. I was quizzical and uneasy so I tried to listen to the catechists and became more enlightened from bible studies that the Second Coming is not about destruction.
Rather, it is all about the immeasurable love of God, His infinite mercy, the guidance He gives us to be with Him in heaven, and the fulfillment of His promises.