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Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 158
Read: Mark 13:24-32

Gospel Summary
Mark’s community lived in a time of persecution, uneasiness and discouragement. They needed hope and Mark supplied it in his presentation of Jesus just before the story of his passion, death and resurrection. Some people call this portion of Mark’s Gospel “Little Apocalypse” because it refers to events in the end times. Certain occurrences will be visible before Jesus returns and Mark has Jesus say words that help his community look for signs. The words in this Gospel indicate that “this” generation will not pass away before “these things have taken place.” What is not exactly clear is what things, but the most important point is that the people of Mark’s community find hope in Jesus’ return.

Reflection for Families
Nowhere is the changing world so evident as it is in children. How many times have you been around someone who hasn’t seen you or your child for some time? They often remark, “Oh, my! How he’s grown!” And it’s true. He has grown. We see changes daily in their physical and emotional growth. Even children’s spiritual growth astounds us from time to time. Today’s Gospel makes clear that changes are coming—we just don’t know when. We’re not called to make ourselves paranoid about the signs of the changes, but rather to always be ready for Jesus’ return. In a few weeks, we will have a number of readings that challenge us to be ready. Now might be a good time to make a commitment as a family to slow down the pace of this holiday season.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family
Together, look through the newspaper today or sometime during the week. Try to determine if certain events reflect God’s Kingdom already begun on earth. Maybe you’ll find a story about someone who helped another person, or a group of people asking the community to help a group in need. Are there any stories about people or events that will change when Jesus returns? For example, are there groups of people sick or injured, victims of violence or unfair social practices? Like Mark’s community, what kind of courage can we find in knowing Jesus will return? What can we do to give other people courage?

Discussion Starters

  1. If I knew for sure that the world would end tomorrow, today I would . . .
  2. I think God does not want us to know exactly when the world will end, because . . .
  3. The hardest thing for me about accepting change is . . .


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