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Know That He Is Near: Congregation for the Clergy On the Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

By Vatican Congregation for the Clergy
November 19th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Therefore, Christ says to us that, "when you see these things happening know that He is near " in order to call us to observe reality and to invite us to read the certain signs of His return.

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - We present the reflection on Sundays Readings from The vatican Congregation for the Clergy Below:

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"In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that He is near, at the gates." (Mk 13:29)  Today, the Church's Liturgy seems as it is propelling our hearts and gaze towards the Last Day, towards He who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End of all things. Today's Liturgy is leading us towards He who's Universal Kingship we will celebrate next week:  Jesus Christ, God. 

Everything will be recapitulated in Him, the entire cosmos and history are tending towards Him.  All creation is, as St Paul would say, "groaning in labor pains" (Rm 8:22) and we too are also travelling on that same continuum, we are also living that sweet wait!

"When you see these things happening, know that He is near, at the gates."  Christ loves us so much that His heart burns with love and desire for each one of us.  In the anticipation of what will happen on the Last Days, He offered Himself on the Cross.  It is right that the awaiting anticipation of the return of the beloved is aroused in the one who truly loves. 

The lover awaits and desires the beloved's return and is motivated to prepare for that return with all those acts of love that the heart proposes so that the beloved is welcomed in a way that demonstrates that love.

"When you see these things happening, know that He is near, at the gates."  When the heart is full of the anticipation of the beloved's arrival, everything that surrounds us is almost "transfigured" before our eyes and so becomes an occasion or a way of loving. It is even more this way with Christ!  When our hears are enflamed and renewed with love and desire for Him, everything acquires its true sense - everything! 

Every meeting, every circumstance, every joy or sorrow, every piece of work is given a new taste because Christ, as our Creator and Redeemer, gives light and consistency to the things that we do and so, in Him, they find their true significance.

"When you see these things happening, know that He is near, at the gates."  However, in talking about the Last Days, the Lord doesn't indicate a precise timescale.  In fact, He says, "But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Mk 13:32) 

Therefore, Christ says to us that, "when you see these things happening know that He is near " in order to call us to observe reality and to invite us to read the certain signs of His return. 

In fact, we do not have a somewhat introspective and subjective religiosity in which we can take refuge; one that is incapable of withstanding life's difficulties and of obeying reality to prepare us for the Last Day.  Rather, we must await Him with great security in reality, entrusting ourselves to Him who made and Redeemed us. 

We must entrust ourselves to the signs of the Mysteries that will become ever more numerous.  Christ, the Reality, is the true Master of the journey towards heaven because, as the Apostle says: "the reality belongs to Christ." (Col 2:17)

"When you see these things happening, know that He is near, at the gates."  However, our awaiting, understood in the Christian sense, isn't only directed to a certain, but yet distant, future.  The future Day towards which we are travelling, that Last Day in which all will be brought back, is already Present! 

It has already come, because this Day is Christ, the Only Son of God who came to visit us from heaven like the "daybreak from on high." (Lk 1:78) We are living this sorrowful wait. 

However, we live this wait in the joy of His Presence that we meet inside the Church and, in a special way, through the Sacraments and the Proclamation of His Word.  It is a Presence that is given to us and so we experience that communion with our brothers which is a gift of the Spirit. 

His Presence shines in an eminent way on the Altar where Christ, Himself, our Future enters our present to draw us to Himself, to draw us into His very heart, so that we can go through Him to the Father.

"When you see these things happening, know that He is near, at the gates."  Let us hold in our hearts that desire for His Presence that will make us able to give Him that attentive love that recognizes Christ in every brother and that will enclose us in that Day that has no end. 

May Most Holy Mary, Woman of that silent waiting and unsurpassable Model of love, prepare our hearts for that meeting with Her Son, "now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Citations of:
Da 12,1-3:  www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9abr1ql.htm   
He 10,11-14.18: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9arbi0j.htm
Mk 13,24-32: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9bfegpm.htm

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