Reflections and Perspectives

Welcome! Reflections, Testimonials, and Perspectives for St. Mary Magdalen are offered by our priests, deacons, parishioners, and others as guest writers. We will offer a Sunday Reflection as well as other topics. 

  • Deacon Anthony Cincotta

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Daniel 12:1-3, Psalm 16:5, 8-11, Hebrews 10:11-14, 18, & Mark 13:24-32

After the "first" Gulf War in 1991, black snow fell in parts of the Middle East caused by the smoke from the burning oil wells in Kuwait. With nuclear weapons, humanity possesses the power to create a "nuclear winter," forcing the sun's light to be blotted out due to massive amounts of smoke in the atmosphere. It is sobering to think that we now have the power to fulfill Jesus' words in today's Gospel when He said to His disciples, "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." Our Lord made the statement not to frighten us but to remind us that there is nothing permanent in this world and to live with an eye on the "End" because when He comes again the world, and the cosmos will be dissolved. Jesus said those words to give us a second chance—a second chance at living, a second chance at preparing for judgment, and a second chance at preparing for our death.

We live between the first and second coming of Jesus. In one of our Eucharistic Acclamations, we profess our faith in Jesus' Second Coming; "Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again." Regardless of if we are dead or alive when Jesus comes again, we believe that He will judge us—each one of us! In the Creed, which we pray every Sunday, we proclaim: "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end."

We profess in the Creed our belief in a judgment awaiting us; we will see the evil effects our sins have caused, we will see the opportunities we had for doing good but let it slip by, as well as the good we have done. We will see all that we would do if we had a second chance at life. Jesus proclaimed the words of the Gospel today to remind us of what lies ahead so that we live now with that second chance.

When will the End come? A question that has been asked and mispredicted down through the ages. Those "prognosticators" should have paid more attention to Jesus in today's Gospel of Saint Mark when He says, "But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Whenever the End is, we have a second chance to prepare for it and to remain prepared for it, and that second chance is NOW!

Question of the Day: How will you prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus and assist those you love to do the same?

Prayer: "Be vigilant at all times, and pray that you have the strength to stand before the Son of Man."



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