Liturgical beginnings…yet again!
The word ‘thanks’ from Our New Testament reading this Sunday, may well capture our attention as the calendar and the tinsel, trees and lights are heralding the approach of Christmas day. Christmas became a focal cry for our leaders…Let’s be free of virus and be able to travel to family for Christmas. Buckets of money flung far and wide to cover the memories of Covid-19 enforced lockdowns, lack of work, lack of traditional freedoms, lack of open places of worship. Bans on our goods; institutions found to have clay feet and people even in high places still behaving badly. Sadly, evidence, yet again, of corruption across all sectors of our society. Some might suggest that it even feels like a persecution; if so, feel quite at home with chapter 13 of Mark.
Scholars sometime describe this section of Mark as his Apocalyptic section. He uses the literary form, common in his day, to send an encouraging word to the new Christians of his community who have undergone suffering for the name of Jesus…and warns them, there is more to come! John, in his book of Revelation, expounds this theme in much more graphic and symbolic language.
But there is HOPE.
Paul begins today with the words “I never stop thanking God for all the graces….”
+Perhaps we, this week, could begin our new year by making a list of the “graces” we, our family, our friends, even our Church and country, have received these past months.
+Perhaps too, we may say thanks that “Lord, you are our Father; we the clay, you the potter”.
+ Mark urges us to have total confidence in the Plan of God. We do our bit by being faithful door keepers who STAY AWAKE.
Our personal Liturgical, let alone civic, Calendar year will close; the sufferings we endure will, like those of Jesus, end in glory. After all, His kingdom is not of this world, but is discovered within each of us. Being vigilant, being on our guard, being awake will enable us to enjoy the fruits of the Kingdom.
Welcome to beginning again.
P.S. Thanks for your encouragement for these reflections this past year.