Fr. Sanctus Mario
Inspiration and Bible Reflections

There is Hope At Last. Sunday Breakfast With the Word 33rd Week

Sunday Breakfast With the Word 33rd Sunday Ordinary Time of the Year B


Daniel 12:1-3, Hebrews 10:11-14,18 , Mark 13:24-32




As we gradually come to the end of the liturgical calendar, the church provides us with readings that remind us of the end of life.


So, as we come to the end of the liturgical year, the Holy Mother Church reminds us of the end, the eschatos, and the realities that associate the end time.


Today, many people are already obsessed with the issue of the end time. There are still many false prophecies telling us the day, the end time will come and what will happen on this day. 



About the end, Jesus says categorically today “But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven nor the Son; no one but the Father”.



The first reading talks about the time when ‘angel Michael will stand up and guard the people. 



It will be a time of great distress that one has never seen before. At this time of great distress, God’s people will be spared, all those whose names are found written in the Book. 



But for those who are sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. 



Therefore, the church is bringing to our realities what still lies ahead of us. These eschatological realities are tribulations, the resurrection of the dead, the second coming of Christ, death, judgement, and the eternal reward of heaven and hell. 



Therefore, the liturgy of today, reminds us of the end of the liturgical year, the end of life, with the second coming of Jesus Christ and the end of our earthly existence. 



The pointer here is that there is always the end. Sometimes we forget that one day everything must come to an end. Whatever has a beginning must have an end. 



The end time will come with its troubles and distress, it may come with horror and tribulation.


There will be a time of challenges, great distress, and notwithstanding the sufferings and tribulations that are coming, the message today is that there is hope at last for the children of God. 



The world is just for the moment. Hence, a time for joy and a time of retribution is coming.



Therefore, to explain today’s readings, we have to exegetically analyse the readings of today and then find their implications to our present lives and moments. 


Read More

Six Reasons to Pray and not Lose Heart. Saturday 32nd Week




At that Time.



 The first reading begins with the phrase “at that time, then Michael will stand up. This little phrase “at that time, shows that this chapter of Daniel is a continuation of an event that is happening before. 




It says “At that time” there is going to be a time of great distress, which one has never seen before since nations first came into existence. 



Then, when that time comes, your people will be spared”. Then we can ask which particular time is Daniel referring to?




The point is that today’s reading is a very long discussion that started in chapter 10. In this chapter, an angel, dressed in linen, with a face like lightning speaks with Daniel and gives him the strength to stand (10:5-11). 




This angel tells Daniel that he has been fighting against the “Prince of Persia”. The prince of the Persian kingdom resisted him for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help him and dealt with the prince of Persia. 



In the New Testament, We know that angel Michael is portrayed as a fighting Satan (Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7).




After this encounter with the angel, in the following chapters and verses that follow, Daniel had a series of visions in which he always sees a king whose pride reaches the heights of heaven.



This king desecrates God’s sanctuary and forces the people of Judea to worship an alien god. This king is Antiochus IV Epiphanes (d. 164 BCE).



Then in Daniel 11:45, the angel who speaks to Daniel reveals that this proud king, who is a persecutor of Daniel’s people, will meet his end “with no one to help him”. 




So, the beginning of today’s readings, which is Daniel 12:1 follows immediately. The angel promises Daniel in this reading that Michael the great prince will stand up, and guard over Daniel’s people. 




The time of trouble referred here is a time of anguish and trouble brought about by the proud and sacrilegious King Antiochus. 



But the angel promises Daniel that a decisive and turning point is coming. In that time of great trouble, Michael, the prince, will rise and deliver God’s people. 



Then the angel says that when the time comes, Daniel’s people will be spared. 



Therefore, despite the horrific nature of that time, the people of God are going to be delivered. This is especially for those whose names are found written in the Book. 



Therefore, this promise of deliverance is not for every person but for those who truly turn to the Lord (Romans 11:25-27).




The Implication.



1. Through this reading, we can draw some practical implications. The first point is that every child of God must live beyond every present crisis. Every child of God must live in hope. There is hope at last. 



Therefore, this reading, first of all, assures hope to all God’s people that the challenges and persecutions that they undergo presently will never be in vain. There is hope at last for the children of God. 



2. Secondly, there is always an end to every present condition, suffering and persecution that one undergoes. There is light at the end of the tunnel. 




Anything that has a beginning must come to an end. Also, the end for the people of God is always salvific. Therefore, while we undergo a crisis, let us not live like people who have no hope in life. 




3. Thirdly, this encounter is a warning to all evil people who are tormenting the innocent. It may look as if they are gaining victory now, but the time will come when God will vindicate His people. 



4. Fourthly, there is always an end to everything, it may seem that the present situation will not come to an end. It may look as if things are not going in your favour but one day, it shall surely pass.



5. Fifth, this certifies what Psalm 34:19 says that “many are the trials of the just man but the Lord delivers Him from them all. The innocent will always undergo trials and persecutions, but vindication awaits them at last. 




6. Finally, the reading is a prefiguration of the resurrection of the dead and what will happen at the end of our lives. 



If those who will be saved are only those whose names are written in the book as the first reading portrays, then it means that God will reward some people with eternal life and punish some with eternal damnation. 




The first reading says “of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace”. 




Therefore, this is how the end will be but there is hope at last for the children of God. 

 It means that on the last day, God is going to save the righteous and those who keep His word. 



In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says that not all those who said lord lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but those who do the will of God. 




The second reading says that “By the virtue of that one single offering of Jesus, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying.



Therefore, salvation is already assured for the good people of God. The onus lies in us to make our choices.



A Life of Hope.



The message of the gospel today is just a repetition of the first reading. In today’s gospel, Jesus was also telling His disciples what will happen in those days.



One may also ask, which days is Jesus talking about? What prompted this discussion? To understand this gospel, we have to begin from the first verse of this chapter thirteen. 



In this chapter as Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples whose name was withheld said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” They were admiring the precious stones of the Temple of Jerusalem. 



Then Jesus replies to them that these great buildings they are admiring will one day be thrown down. So as Jesus was sitting on the mount Olives opposite the temple, Andrew, Peter, James and John asked Him privately when the things he was saying would happen and the signs that they were about to be fulfilled. 



Then Jesus begins to tell them about the end which includes today’s gospel. Before today’s gospel, Jesus explains to them that at that time, the nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.


There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. There will be persecutions and problems everywhere. Jesus was foretelling them about the destruction of the temple and the persecution of the disciples.



Then Jesus said that 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.



Therefore, what Jesus is telling them is that the time of distress will surely come but it will not last forever. This chapter offers hope for the disciples at that time who were undergoing great persecutions. 




Mark writes this for his particular community, who were undergoing threats and persecutions. At that time, many of the Christians lost hope in God, many of them who were aware of the promise of the second coming of Jesus sometimes come out to look unto the sky expecting the coming of the Lord, some were on the verge of losing faith entirely. 




The persecution was too much on them. So, the gospel of today according to Mark is a consolation to them amid the crisis. It was a message That it is at that time when the sun has darkened when it seems the light has gone and when it looks as if all is lost that Jesus could appear. 



Mark reminds them of the words of Jesus, to keep their faith alive of the second coming of Jesus. The essence here is that Mark uses this chapter to offer people hope in a time of crisis. 




Therefore in times of problems and great dangers, what we need is hope. Hope is the key that will guide us. And, Jesus wants us to live in hope.







1. There are times when we encounter challenges and we may be tempted to lose hope in God. The readings of today offer us maximum hope and trust in God. 



It simply tells us that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. So, when you are persecuted, when you are falsely accused and when you are unjustly confronted, keep calm and always know that there is a time of vindication for everyone.



2. In the gospel, Jesus uses the fig tree to illustrate how the end time would be. He says to the apostles



“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”.


Therefore, His second coming is real. It may take time but one day it shall surely happen. 


3.‘It is so sad that today, many self-acclaimed men of God, prophets and prophetesses have tried to fix a date for God. Some people have tried to tell us when Jesus would come and when the end time would be. 




Many of these people have continued to deceive and mislead their gullible followers. Jesus says categorically in today’s gospel that as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven nor the Son; no one but the Father.’ Yet these men continued to fix dates and refix more dates when the second coming would be. 




Some people have described how many people would be raptured in heaven. We have to know that, when and how, is for God to say, We do not have the power to do so. It means the end time would take everyone unawares.




4. Also, just like the end time would surprise everyone by surprise, we need to understand that we also have an end. Just as we come to this world, we must go one day. Death is real and death comes to anyone.




 It does not ask whether we are close to God or not. Death does not ask whether you prepared yourself with charms. When it will come, it will come. No one has immunity to life. 



Death does not know how much we have prayed, suffered and fasted. It does not know your position or profession. Death does not know your power. When it will come, it will come. Yet death is a necessity that all of us, even the people who are already towards it, do not think about.




 Everyone hopes to live in the world forever and ever. Yet no one lives. We have known that this necessity will face all of us. Yet it is the last thing we have also refused to prepare for. 



We have this mentality that death is never our portion until it becomes our portion even unknowingly. We have failed to prepare for it, and it continues to take us unawares. 



5. Therefore, as we take care of our bodies in this life, let us not forget to take care of our souls. As we plan to build houses, ride cars, go to places, visit countries, be great men and women, let us not forget to always prepare for our eternal journey. 



In the gospel, Jesus tells His apostles to be on guard always. They need to be careful, so that the end will not take them unawares. 



The point today is that as we plan, let us remember there is the end of everything. Like we have come to this world, We must all leave also. As we plan for the body, let us also plan for the soul.



6. This is a message to all who want to acquire the whole earth. They think they will live forever and forever.


Then as life goes, they get disappointed that everything they try to acquire in this world is vanity upon vanity.



 Today, many families are in crisis, many friends are at war against each other, there are unhealthy competitions everywhere. We are more interested in acquiring these things. But all these we fight to acquire will disappoint us at last. On that day, we shall go, with only our clothes and nothing again. 



7. The readings of today offers hope for the righteous and for the true children of God who are making effort daily. The first reading offers hope at the end. 



 God will reward the righteous with eternal life. It also offers hope that deliverance comes at last. The gospel offers hope that amid the darkened cloud, in the midst of disaster, our victory and deliverance can still come. Therefore, there is hope at last. 



There is hope at last for God’s children who seek Him daily.


Also, There is hope at last for the suffering, and the dejected.


There is hope for the orphans, the persecuted, the righteous, the forgotten, the accused, those who are trampled upon. 


Our time of deliverance and victory will surely come. For those who are making an effort to be close to God, it is not a waste of time. One day you shall be like the saints in heaven. 

Therefore, keep going, keep making effort, always know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.




May God bless you.


You may read my reflection on this in 2018

Joy At Last: Sunday Breakfast With the Word 33rd Week Ordinary Time


  1. Golu Chetachukwu Angela says

    Beautiful as always. Thanks so much, Padre. I pray that, we’ll welcome this message in hearts’. And be vigilant and ready for his coming.

  2. Rosemary Umeze says

    And bless you too Padré. Amen

  3. Bibiana Uche Unachukwu says

    Amen and happy Sunday Fr

  4. James Mailoushi says

    Amen, remain blessed Fr. Happy Sunday

  5. Ekwem Emmanuela Chiamaka says



    Thank you very much Father.

  7. Helen says

    Amen! You are truly God sent. Thank you so much Padre.

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