The world of apocalyptic literature with its visions and fantastic imagery is alien and bewildering to us. The book of Daniel, which we hear from this weekend, contains several of these types of passages. Many of these writings were used to encourage readers who, at that time, faced a crisis. This weekend’s Gospel is taken from the most difficult chapter of Mark’s Gospel. It too is apocalyptic and often interpreted as announcing the end of the world.

In fact, Mark 13 — which we read this weekend — is often called the “little apocalypse.” Like the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation, it focuses on a world of persecution.

But, when we look at these texts as a whole, we notice that we are dealing with the theme of meaning: What is the real meaning of our faith and our lives? This is the question we should keep at the back of our minds as we ponder the words from the Scriptures this weekend. We should take great consolation in the words of Jesus rather than allow them to distress us.

Join Fr Russell Pollitt SJ as he reflects on the Scriptures for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Read the texts in your Bible or hover your mouse over the references below to see the texts.

Daniel 12:1-3; Psalm 15; Hebrews 10:11-14,18; Mark 13:24-32.

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