33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
November 14, 2021
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.








Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
the constant gladness of being devoted to you,
for it is full and lasting happiness
to serve with constancy
the author of all that is good.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Dn 12:1-3

In those days, I Daniel,
heard this word of the Lord:
"At that time there shall arise
Michael, the great prince,
guardian of your people;
it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress
since nations began until that time.
At that time your people shall escape,
everyone who is found written in the book.

"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake;
some shall live forever,
others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.

"But the wise shall shine brightly
like the splendor of the firmament,
and those who lead the many to justice
shall be like the stars forever."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 16:5,8,9-10,11


R/.  You are my inheritance, O Lord!

O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.

Second Reading Heb 10:11-14,18

Brothers and sisters:
Every priest stands daily at his ministry,
offering frequently those same sacrifices
that can never take away sins.
But this one offered one sacrifice for sins,
and took his seat forever at the right hand of God;
now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.
For by one offering
he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.

Where there is forgiveness of these,
there is no longer offering for sin.

Alleluia Lk 21:36


Gospel Mk 13:24-32

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 Questions

  1. How are you among the wise and those who lead others to justice?
  2. How have you been made perfect forever?
  3. What is this generation likely to witness “in those days?”

Catena Nova

We do not preach only one coming of Christ, but a second as well, much more glorious than the first. The first coming was marked by patience; the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom…At the first coming he was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger. At his second coming he will be clothed in light as in a garment. In the first coming he endured the cross, despising the shame; in the second coming he will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels. We look then beyond the first coming and await the second… Our Lord Jesus Christ will therefore come from heaven. He will come at the end of the world, in glory, at the last day. For there will be an end to this world, and the created world will be made new (St. Cyril of Jerusalem).

[The faithful will] reign with Christ, receiving as their inheritance that heavenly kingdom which cannot be shaken, living for ever in the ineffable light that knows no evening and is interrupted by no night, having fellowship with all the saints who have lived from the beginning of time, and enjoying delights beyond description in Abraham’s embrace, where all pain has fled away, and all grief and groaning.... As for us, who in this present age are God’s chosen people, a priestly race, the Church of the living God separated from all the impious and ungodly, may we be found separated from the darnel in the age to come as well, and united to those who are saved in Christ our Lord, who is blessed for ever. Amen (St. Gregory Palamas).

My children, eternal life is being offered to us, the kingdom of heaven is made ready and Christ’s inheritance awaits us … So let us run from now on with increased energy and above all you, lazy, recalcitrant, dull of heart, friends of murmuring who, unless you improve, are like the cursed fig tree.… Let us seek out the fight, bravely pour with our sweat, adorn ourselves with crowns, gain praises and gather up, like a treasure, “what eye has not seen and ear has not heard and what has not entered the human heart” (1 Cor 2:9). (St. Theodore the Studite).

One day, the gospels tell us, the tension gradually accumulating between humanity and God will reach a kind of limit set when the world was created. The end will come. The presence of Christ will suddenly be revealed like a flash of lightening, shining from pole to pole, smashing through all the barriers which hid this presence or kept it confined. It will invade the earth. The attractive power of the Son of Man will lay hold of everything and unite it in his Body. The Gospel warns us it is vain to speculate about the hour and the modalities of this formidable event. But it equally warns, it calls, us to expect it! Maybe expectation is the supreme Christian characteristic, and the one most distinctive of our faith. It is an historical fact that expectation has never ceased to guide the living expansion of our faith; it is like a torch raised on high. The Israelites were constantly expecting God’s coming. So too were the first Christians. Special times, like Christmas, may seem to turn our gaze toward the past but actually they only fix our attention more firmly on the future. The Messiah appeared for a moment in our midst, but allowed himself to be seen and touched only briefly before vanishing again, more luminous and ineffable than ever, into the depths of the future. He came, yet only to call us to expect him! We Christians follow Israel. We have been charged with keeping the flame of hope-filled longing ever alive in the world. Only twenty centuries have passed since the Ascension. In practice, what have we made of our expectancy? We say we are keeping vigil in expectation of the Master but we must admit that in reality we act as if we no longer expected anyone or anything. The flame of expectation must be revived at all costs. At all costs we must renew ourselves in longing and hoping for the Great Coming. But that can’t happen unless the expectation is incarnate! What body is to be given to our expectation today? It has to be a fully and completely human hope! Look at the earth around us. Our race is visibly passing through a crisis of growth. All are becoming dimly aware of our world’s short-comings as well as its capacities. We have a sense of premonition as well as of expectation. Those who follow Christ mustn’t hesitate to harness this historical force. It needs us and we need it. Under pain of allowing this moment and its force to be lost, and perishing ourselves, we have to share the aspirations which make people today feel so strongly about the greatness of the human task, of our mind’s task in the immensity of our world. These aspirations are fundamentally religious. A sacred value is at stake. The development of the universe, and that of the human universe in particular, doesn’t take place in competition with God but expresses God’s call. We mustn’t squander the energies we ought to devote to God’s plan. The more our race develops and grows, the better we can care for our world and all its beauty and  variety, the more conscious we can become of our own and our world's potential to serve and love and adore God. With us and through us a body worthy of resurrection is being prepared for the coming of Christ. Look forward to it. Work for it. Hope mightily! (Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin).

Sooner or later the world must burn, and all things in it – all the books, the cloister together with the brothel, Fra Angelico together with the Lucky Strike ads which I haven’t seen for seven years because I don’t remember seeing one in Louisville.  Sooner or later it will all be consumed by fire and nobody will be left – for by that time the last man in the universe will have discovered the bomb capable of destroying the universe and will have been unable to resist the temptation to throw the thing and get it over with. And here I sit writing a diary. But love laughs at the end of the world because love is the door to eternity and he who loves God is playing on the doorstep of eternity, and before anything can happen love will have drawn him over the sill and closed the door and he won’t bother about the world burning because he will know nothing but love (Fr. Thomas Merton). 

In the “new heaven and the new earth” nothing that has ever been done or suffered in true self-abandonment will be lost. . . . All the treasures of the world will be brought into it. But they will be more beautiful and more precious than they were here because God’s grace will perfect in them what we would have wanted to express but were not able to (Fr.Hans Urs von Balthasar).

God is not going to abolish the universe of space, time and matter; he is going to renew it, to restore it, to fill it with new joy and purpose and delight, to take from it all that has corrupted it. . . . New creation has begun in Jesus. There is a pilgrim highway leading all the way from the cross and the empty tomb right through to God’s new creation (N.T. Wright).


Who’s Buried in Lenin’s Tomb?

            Shortly after the “Second Russian Revolu­tion” in 1989 Western reporters were allowed to enter, with their videocameras, the hallowed shrine in the Kremlin Wall where the architect of the First Revolution is buried, Vladimir Lenin.  These reporters were also allowed to film the subterranean complex, filled with high tech equipment, having only one purpose: the preservation of Lenin’s body.  Since his death in 1924, the body of Lenin has been perfectly embalmed. hermetically sealed in his glass coffin, looking like a wax figure in Madame Tussaud’s museum.  Throngs of Russian citizens have filed into this eerie vault to visit this miracle of science, which according to the doctor in charge of the project, could last another century.

            The same can’t be said, however, of Lenin’s revolution.  For at the same time his lifeless corpse has been on view in the Kremlin, his images cast in bronze and iron, were toppled all over Mother Russia: pulled down by frustrated comrades who finally acknowledged his revolution to be as dead as he, a lifeless effigy, and like his monument, having more than the appear­ance of life.

            In these last weeks of the liturgical year, and right into the Advent season, our attention is turned toward the end of human history framed by Scripture as a last judgment.  And one can imagine history’s greatest makers and shakers will be center stage on the “last day,” whether nicely preserved or rotted to the core, when they will be rustled from their tombs.  Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace (I).

            Their victims will be there too: from Lenin’s Red Terror to Stalin’s Great Purge to Hitler’s Final Solution to Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward to Pol Pot’s Killing Fields.  I could go on, and on.  But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever (I) – like the myriad martyrs whose blood was mingled together with countless other victims killed by these regimes, martyrs who witnessed by their resistance to One who has taken his seat forever at the right hand of God; and who now waits until his enemies are made his footstool (cf. II).   In other words, who’s buried in Lenin’s tomb and his ilk.

            Somber thoughts such as these belong to this time of year.  When signs of life wane, sunsets comes sooner, light is scarcer, winds sweep away autumn color.  And we are compelled to think of so many endings that comprise human life and history and how every generation stands under the judgment of God, the archangel Michael ready to blow the final trumpet, as if it were the last, including our own generation which will not pass away until all these things have taken place (G).

            For whether it’s the great empires of this world, from Egypt to Greece to Rome to Russia, to our own passing away, worlds end sooner or later, yours, mine, and ours.  All human projects prove temporary, provisional, finite, limited: all our fond hopes for earthly kingdoms that last wither in the sun of justice, Jesus Christ. 

            So in the end, all that matters will be those things which have prepared the way for his coming. Everything else will be consumed in the birth pangs attending the new heaven and the new earth.  Every monument to human pride crashing down, as so many idols, to make way for the King of kings and Lord of lords.

            And like the Christians of old who were thrown to the lions for their refusal to take part in emperor worship, we too must resist the idols of worldly power, exposing their lies -- the idols the world worships and looks to for salvation, the idols of a “new world order” or the “workers’ paradise” or “the great reset” or who want to make their country “great again,” but which will prove to be little more than the orders that have already come and gone, for heaven and earth will pass away, but the words of Jesus will never pass, for he sits at the right hand of God, living and real.

            And as we celebrate the Eucharist until he comes again, we do so as communities of resistance, looking with hope to the future day when Christ will bring our stories and our histories to an end, and command us to rise from the ashes of this world’s folly, and share with him the life he alone confers, world without end.  Amen.    



Intercessions (Peter Scagnelli)

As creation moves toward fulfillment, let us pray through the Son of Man, who is coming with great power and glory.

That the church may faithfully share the wisdom handed on to it by God and lead many to holiness as the day of the Lord draws near.

That God’s people may be delivered in times of anguish and so be able to protect and serve those who have no one to help them.

That nations and peoples engulfed in conflict may find the path to peace and not inherit the shame and contempt of having forfeited the gift of life.

That those in anguish of body, mind or spirit may find hope in Christ’s words and help from Christ’s disciples.

That those who suffer hunger may receive the food they need from the just sharing of the bounty of earth’s harvests.

That innocent victims of lawless deeds may find peace in the love of Christ and in the care of those devoted to their healing.

That our community may serve as an angel of healing and protection to those in this area who suffer from homelessness or hunger.

That the sick of our community may deepen their sanctification as they unite their sufferings to the perfect offering of Christ.

That our communion in prayer with God’s elect throughout the earth may deepen our sense of partnership in the church’s worldwide mission.

That our eucharistic worship may stir us to bear witness to gospel justice as we proclaim that even now Christ is near, at the very gates.

That our beloved departed whose bodies sleep in the dust of the earth may awake to everlasting life and shine like the stars for all eternity.

Your creation, O God, runs its appointed course, as from the ends of the earth you gather a people you call your own. Confirm us in the strength of your abiding word. Steady our hearts in the time of trial, so that on the day of the Son of Man we may without fear rejoice to behold his appearing. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen (ICEL; 1998)

Interlude (Healey Willan)


Lo, in the time appointed the Lord will come,
the mountains and hills will break forth in singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands:
for the Lord shall come into his everlasting kingdom
and on the throne of David
he shall reign forever.

Lord’s Prayer

As God’s kingdom draws ever nearer, we pray with ever-greater longing in the words Jesus gave us....

Spiritual Communion

We are unable today, Lord, to partake of the Sacrament in which we proclaim your death until you come again --  you who offered one sacrifice for sins, and took your seat forever at the right hand of God.  We ask you to unite us to the paschal mystery, if not by Communion, then by our hearts open to your Presence bestowed on us through the gift of the Spirit.  Continue to make us fit and ready for your glorious coming -- we who by your one offering have been made perfect forever and are being consecrated as your holy and priestly people.



Closing Hymn


When fig leaves sprout, the summer’s near;

Just so, when sun and moon grow dim,

This earth and heav’n will pass, and Christ

Will come and raise the dead with him.

This coming Christ, who once for all

A sacrifice for sin’s dark stain

Has offered, will bring back to life

All those who sleep, for doom or gain.

Secure with Jesus, our Advocate,

Who pleads for us at God’s right hand.

We daily work to do God’s will,

And wait his coming stern and grand.