24 November 2012
Extracted from the Book of Daniel 12:1-3
‘At that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who mounts guard over your people.
There is going to be a time of great distress, unparalleled since nations first came into existence.
When that time comes, your own people will be spared, all those whose names are found written in the Book.
Of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace.
The learned will shine as brightly as the vault of heaven, and those who have instructed many in virtue, as bright as stars for all eternity.’
Extracted from Psalm 16:1,5,8-11
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; it is you yourself who are my prize.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead, nor let your beloved know decay.
You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand happiness for ever.
Extracted from the sermon- the Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
All the priests stand at their duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking sins away.
Jesus Christ, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him.
By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying. When all sins have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings.
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Mark 13:24-32
Jesus said, ‘In those days, after the time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory; then too he will send the angels to gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven.
‘Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.
So with you when you see these things happening: know that he is near, at the very gates.
I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all these things will have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
‘But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.’
The aforesaid Readings were read in Mass on 18 November 2012 (33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B). We have extracted the Homily of Blessed Pope John Paul II given in year 2000, based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you.
JUBILEE OF THE ARMED FORCES AND THE POLICE
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 19 November 2000
1. "Then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory" (Mark 13: 26).
On this last Sunday of Ordinary Time, the liturgy speaks to us of Christ's second coming. The Lord will appear in clouds, clothed in power and glory. He is the same Son of man, merciful and compassionate, whom the disciples knew during his earthly journey. When the moment comes for his manifestation in glory, he will come to give human history its definitive fulfillment.
Through the symbolism of cosmological upheavals, the Evangelist Mark recalls that God will pronounce his last judgement on human events in the Son, putting an end to a universe corrupted by falsehood and torn by violence and injustice.
I greet you all with deep affection, dear brothers and sisters, who have come to Rome from many parts of the world to celebrate your special Jubilee. You are the representatives of the armies who have faced one another down through history. Today you are meeting at the tomb of the Apostle Peter to celebrate Christ "our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility" (Ephesians 2: 14). You have come to offer to him, mysteriously and really present in the Eucharist, your resolutions and your daily commitment as peacemakers.
To each of you I express my deepest appreciation of your dedication and generous commitment. I first of all extend my greeting with fraternal esteem to Archbishop José Manuel Estepa Llaurens, who has expressed your common sentiments. My greeting is extended to the dear Archbishops and Military Ordinaries, whom I congratulate for the dedication with which they provide pastoral care for you. With them, I greet the military chaplains, who generously share in the ideals and efforts of your arduous daily activity. My respectful thoughts also turn to the officers of the armed forces, to those in command of the police forces and of the various security agencies, as well as to the civil authorities who have wished to share in the joy and grace of this solemn Jubilee celebration.
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Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the homily of Blessed Pope John Paul II, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.