Reflection for the thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary time – Year B

by Fr Sandile Mswane

The pilgrim church here on earth awaits the second coming of its Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For He has promised that He will come again (Mark 13: 26) to gather His faithful to Himself, take them to His Fathers kingdom. Without any doubt we know that Jesus will come back because God is always faithful to His word. What He says He will do He does it. He never breaks His promises. He is not like us as we never stick to what we have said. It is the goal of every Christian, to be in heaven (not in hell of course) with God as we have been promised that we shall see Him as He really is. The pilgrim church is moving very steadily but it is sure that it will reach where it is going. Some have reached as we also talk of the church in heaven our saints.

The readings of this Sunday present the eschatology, what will happen when the Son of Man comes again. The prophet Daniel reminds us that the time of the resurrection will come “and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12: 2). What many of us wish for when we rise is to rise to everlasting life, when we are welcomed into the kingdom of our heavenly Father but not to rise shame. Those who will rise to everlasting life will be those who have carried their crosses, fallen with them, but perseverance made them rise again to continue with their journey towards heaven. We are talking about those who have tried to live a true Christian life. Not that they have never been tempted by the evil one, no. But they have overcome those temptations. Our duty as Christians is to pray for each other that we all rise to eternal life but not to damnation.

What we now call our goal is infact the salvific plan of God, to save us from condemnation. That is why He sent His Son to save us as we hear from the second reading that He offered Himself for the salvation of the world. Salvation which we have already received but not yet. What do we mean when we say we have received the salvation but not yet. By Christ dying on the cross we have already been given our salvation. We already possess it. We have been cleansed by his blood which poured out from his side and made children of God. However, the evil one lives amongst us. He wants to steal some of us and go with them to the unquenchable fire. A fire which has been prepared for him and the unfaithful angels. Now, we children of God have a duty to be very careful that the evil one does not deceive us and derail us from the rightful way towards heaven because the evil one’s main purpose is to derail us. Though we have already received our salvation but what we need to be careful about is that we can still lose it when Satan derails us.