33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time


By Lucinda M. Vardey

Intrigue into what signals the end times continues to absorb many. In Mark’s gospel Jesus speaks about the time when he will come “with great power and glory” and we will recognize the signs that “he is near at the very gates.” These gates have been believed, over the centuries, to be the eastern golden gates near the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem’s city walls, which were filled in by the ruling Sultan in the mid-16th century and remain so to this day. However, as we have been informed that we will neither know the day or the hour of Jesus’ second coming, we can consider all speculation wasteful.

Instead, we are instructed to be constantly alert and ceaselessly in prayer, in order to be prepared. And how can we achieve this? One answer is by time given to devotion. Through devotion, we offer space in our hearts to love Jesus in his presence and enter into relationship with his wisdom. We focus on hearing his words that will not fade away, that form the eternal foundation, that live in every moment, that steer our course when all else fails.

St. Francis de Sales, who wrote about the importance of prioritizing devotion as part of our prayer life, invites us to be “living plants” in Jesus’ Church. Devotional prayer provides grace to purify our hearts and minds, to allow the words of Jesus to nourish us into spiritual health. Through such devotion we can begin to experience the many fruits, which St. Francis says contribute to everything becoming “more pleasant and agreeable.”

Here at St. Basil’s Parish, we are fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to devote each Thursday afternoon (3.30 – 5.10 p.m.) to silent adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

The prayer of psalm 16 could act as a guide. We choose Jesus, we keep him always before us, we shall not be moved. We rest secure in our hearts and souls that we will be shown the way. We delight in his presence, because in him we find the fullness of joy.

Sunday’s Readings:

Daniel 12.1-3
Hebrews 10.11-14, 18
Mark 13.24-32