Reflection for 33 Sunday in Ordinary Time
“You will show me the path of life” : Sr Mary Bridget Dunlea FMA Limerick, Ireland
Today the Liturgy speaks about “endings.” The reality of ending, closure. change is all about us – the civil year is moving towards its end; the Liturgical Year will end next Sunday; darkness falls earlier so our days end sooner.
The Readings speak to us of the end of the world and the final coming of Jesus and His final call to each of us individually.
The pictures Jesus uses are frightening – stars falling; the moon darkening; the sun growing cold. We fear such things .We recognise them as signs that God is near. Jesus calls us to be ready for His final call, His final coming.
I used the word, “final” because there are other calls in between now and then.
Jesus does’nt just come once or only at the end of our lives – He comes every moment of every day. Faithful people always persevere in their effort to hear Him – in spite of stress, upheaval, uncertainty, crisis. Every crisis is an opportunity to choose Him and His will for us.
Do we know the signs of His presence in our daily lives?
In the Responsorial Psalm, we claim that we do see Him; that we do know the signs that He is near to us.
In the Psalm, we claim, “I keep the Lord ever in my sight.”
“Since He is at my right hand I shall stand firm.”
We say to God, “O Lord, you are my portion and cup; you yourself are my prize.”
“ You will show me the path of life.”
How about looking back at the patterns in our lives – times when we kept the Lord in our sight. What happened? Times when we stood firm in spite of our weakness? We knew that the Lord had not abandoned us in our distress.
When were we shown the path of life? that path of life for us individually? The Lord was always there with us because in the words of today’s Gospel, we are His “chosen ones” for that path. He tells us that His “word will not pass away.”
We know change in the heavens and in the earth; in the weather and in the wind; in the leaves and in the flowers. Every thing has its time and its season.
Every moment has its own grace to help us live life well. It is an opportunity to meet Jesus and recognise His care for us. We used to call it “actual Grace.”
We can recognise the presence of God in the big events. It is good to be attentive to the so – called trivial or insignificant things also – He is there, too.
The Irish Poet of the 17th Century, Aodh Mac Aingil, wrote, “Let us get to know God, our companion on the road as we follow Him along the way so that we may recognise Him when He turns around to call us in home at the end.”
The late Tomas O Floinn, Professor of Irish in Maynooth wrote, “A great feast started at the Ascension of Jesus; we are all in the queue and we will all be on time to enjoy it.” He is our portion and cup – our prize.
Sr Mary Bridget Dunlea FMA, Limerick, Ireland