November 18, 2012. Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Daniel 12:1-3
Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
Mark 13:24-32
Today’s liturgy will evoke poignant memories for those who were on the East Coast during the recent devastating storm. For them, it was a time “unsurpassed in distress.” In the moment, though, their primary concern was likely for their personal survival and the survival of those they loved.
Predictions about the end times abound and those who subscribe to a totally literal interpretation of the Scripture use the Book of Revelations and those portions of the Gospel similar to the one we hear today to substantiate their predictions.
When Jesus spoke of his coming again, he clothed the idea in pictures which were part of the Jewish understanding. They are images that come from the Hebrew Scripture - from Ezra, Joel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah. It was a regular part of the imagery that Jews were to be gathered back from the four corners of the earth.

When we read the words of Jesus today, it is important to remember that he was not giving us a timetable for the future. He was simply using the language that many Jews knew for centuries before him. The significance of the passage is that Jesus did say that he would come again.
Jesus tells us that he does not know the day or the hour when he will come. Even He left this in the hand of God. Surely, there is no stronger rebuke to those who work out the dates and the timetables.
Since we do not know when Jesus will come, we live in the shadow of eternity. Every day, we walk to the future. This ought not to make us fearful or hysterical. We are called to live so that it will not matter when he comes. We will be prepared.
God transcends and transforms time. The Eucharist is the celebration of God's timelessness and our ability to overcome the limited boundaries of the present and reach out to the future. This timelessness casts a new light on life. Every "now" contains the "not yet." The nearness of the future influences the meaning of our life today.

For Christians, this is the message that the kingdom is near. All the hopes we have for tomorrow are contained in today. The newness of the day brings us into contact with our God, who is a "coming God," a God of the past, a God of the present, and a God of the future. Because all time is in him, we can transcend time and celebrate "all-at-once" the wonder of our reward for faithful service.
We gather at this Eucharist with all our fears and anxieties, with all our hope and faith. We present our situation to the Lord and we trust. We proclaim to the entire world that Jesus is our insurance against whatever might befall us.