Body and Blood of Christ


Drinking Well

33rd Sunday November 2009

After that Time of Distress


Jesus said to his disciples, "In those days, after that 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.

Mark 13:24-29


C an you remember a time when your world came to an end? Some one close to you died, or you or a family member faced a serious illness. A relationship broke up, or you failed an exam or lost your job or your income. It was like the sun being darkened, the moon losing its light, the stars falling from the heavens.  What you depended on - what you thought would always be there like the sun, the moon and the stars - was suddenly taken away.

In the Bible, the end of the world is not the end of the story. You may find that the end of the world which you faced, was not the end of your story either. In the Bible at the end of the world, the Son of Man comes with great power. When your world ended, or later on, something else may have happened: a coming of the Son of Man, though you may not have thought of it like that.

For example, you may have found strength you never thought you could have. You may have discovered how generous and helpful people around us can be, and this may have given you courage to keep going. Your values may have changed: you saw clearly now what matters in life. You may have found a deeper meaning in your faith. The Son of Man may have come in power and led you into an unexpected future.

Waiting for a long time
When your world comes to an end, you may wait a long time before there is any sign of the Son of Man coming in power. Bereavement can go on for ages. People who suffer from depression may wait a long time for the depression to lift.  But even in the worst of times, the Son of Man makes his presence felt: the bereaved or depressed person manages to get up in the morning and put one foot ahead of the other, when the natural inclination may be to remain in bed and to turn ones face to the wall. People with chronic illness may find the endurance to cope, and the will to live their lives as fully as they possibly can – there too is the work of the Son of Man.

In the economic downturn
It is not only individuals and families who have end-of-the-world experiences. Whole communities and countries have them too. In the present economic downturn in many countries, including our own, we are watching a world of affluence coming to an end. The sun is darkened for thousands of people who have lost their jobs or their incomes, or who cannot pay their mortgages, or cannot meet their day-to-day expenses.                           

In God’s world, disaster can never have the last word. Please God, this present crisis will lead to a coming of the Son of Man to draw people out of isolation into communities where people watch out for each other, where they share their resources, and discover again the deeper values of faith and love, which are easily forgotten in prosperous times.

Brendan Clifford

Prayer. Habakkuk 3:17-19
Even though the fig tree does not blossom,
nor fruit grow on our vines,
even though the olive crop fail
and fields produce no harvest,

even though flocks vanish from the folds
and stalls stand empty of cattle,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord
and exult in God my savior.

The Lord my God is my strength.
He makes me leap like the deer.
He guides me to grace on the heights.
The Lord our God is my saviour.


Quill Pen

Lectio Divina

Gospel Passages

after that time of distress

after that time of distress




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