Jesus comforts His men with the promise of His Second Coming. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Virtue of Hope so he can despise despair and maintain joyful hope in Christ and by building the Virtue of Self-control so he can be disciplined, watchful and remain close to Jesus. 

Liturgy

33rd Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle B – Mk 13:24-32

Commentary

Arriving in Jerusalem in preparation for His Crucifixion, Jesus denounced the sinfulness and hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders, confirmed Daniel’s prophecy of the desolating sacrilege, and revealed the coming severe persecutions and the destruction of the Temple.  

Jesus comforts His men with the promise of His Second Coming, when He will come again in great power and glory in the clouds. The days preceding His Second Coming will be stressful, especially for unbelievers: there will be cosmic events in the skies and the entire world will be shaken and in chaos, leaving the faithless with nowhere to turn for help. Jesus reassures His disciples, promising He will dispatch an army of angels to gather the faithful (the elect) from around the world (from the four winds), to be redeemed by the Son of Man.  

Having asserted signs in the heavens and on earth will accompany His Second Coming, Jesus points to His Creation to help the disciples understand and believe what He has revealed. Just as the leafing out of trees is a perennial sign of summer, so too will worldwide chaos be a sign of His Second Coming. Jesus assures that His Second Coming will be fruitful, bringing new spiritual food just like the trees that perennially provide men with food (figs). The Kingdom of Heaven, which already exists, is like a tree in winter which exists but comes into fullness when it blooms in the summer; this will occur at His Second Coming. Despite the fact that 2000 years, and many generations, have passed, but He has not yet returned, believers are to remain steadfast and expectant in faith, relying on Christ’s promise that, “My words will not pass away.”  

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Consider with both fear and hope what Jesus, the Divine Prophet, says of future catastrophic world-wide events: Divine Knowledge, Jesus reveals that cataclysmic events (the solar system in chaos) will follow destruction on earth, worse than anything in the history of the world (Mk 13:19); the perfection of Justice, Jesus confirms that His disciples, the repentant who have faith in Him, will be saved (Vindication, a part of Justice) by His angels and rewarded in Heaven. 

Despise despair and joyfully hope in Christ

Realize: With the growing chaos in the world due to the rejection of God and His Church, evil ideologies, civil violence, global pandemics, and war, men can fall into despair; Jesus anticipated that chaos and despair will occur on earth, and to give men hope, promised He will return, a promise He reveals is more certain than the perennial leafing out of trees. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Sin of Despair (CCC 2091) and Christ’s promise in the Lord’s Prayer, Thy Kingdom Come (CCC 2816-2821).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Hope so I despise and reject the soul-killing sin of Despair, I completely trust in Your Dominion and promises, and I joyfully and patiently look forward to Your coming Kingdom. 

Be disciplined, watchful and remain close to Christ

Realize: Though Jesus does not give the precise timing of His return in the Second Coming, He reveals He will come with great power and glory and warns men that they are to remain vigilantly watchful.

Believe: Reflect upon the Creed’s section, He Will Come Again in Glory (CCC 668-677, 680-681).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Self-control, help me build the Virtue of Self-Control (a part of Temperance) so I diligently remain watchful, I have the discipline to resist sin, and I vigilantly draw close to You and endure in faith, especially in times of turmoil.