24th Sunday or Last Sunday after Pentecost 2017

Nov 29, 2017

24th Sunday or Last Sunday After Pentecost 2017

     The number of the Sundays after Pentecost may exceed 24, and go as far as 28, accordingly as Easter is each year more or less near the Vernal Equinox.  Yet, the Holy Mass for today is for the Last Sunday.  It was here that Holy Mother Church formerly finished her liturgical year.  She has led her children during the past months to not only have an appreciation of the divine plan through her celebrations, but more especially to unite them more closely to Jesus, the God made Man, who will come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead.

     From time immemorial, St. Luke had the office of announcing in Advent, the approach of the Last Judgment.  The Evangelist St Matthew was selected for this Sunday, with a more detailed description, on this Last Sunday after Pentecost.

     If I were to sum up the Epistle today, it would be a letter of Thanksgiving and Prayer!  An eloquent conclusion of the Apostle’s course of instructions: It is also both the summary and the conclusion of the year of the sacred liturgy.  St. Paul, the Doctor to the Gentiles has been zealous in leading the flock, however it is not his fault that some of the souls he intended to guide have not reached that summit of perfection, which he longed for them to attain and us as well.

     The several liturgical seasons that the past year has brought before us has helped us to experience an increase in light.  For light is that indispensible element which delivers us from the power of darkness, and transforms us, by the help of God’s grace, into the Kingdom His Son.

     The work of redemption which the Son came down upon the earth to accomplish for His Father’s glory, could not make progress in those who have not entered more fully into the spirit of His Church, during the whole year, that is, from the opening of Advent right up to these the closing days of the sacred cycle.

     All of us, then whoever we may be, should give thanks to the Father of lights, who has made us worthy to be partakers of the lots of the saints in light.  With grateful hearts we must realize that the just man cannot possibly remain stationary in this world.  He must either descend or ascend, and to whatever the degree of perfection grace has led him, he must press on even higher as long as he has time left to live.

     The Colossians, to whom St. Paul was writing had fully received the gospel, the word of truth which had been sown in them and produced an abundance of fruit in faith, hope and love.  It is precisely for this reason that St. Paul who had prayed for them up till then, continues to pray for them.

     So, we too should have this same resolve, to go on praying, begging God that He will again and always fill us with His Divine Wisdom, and with the Spirit of understanding.  For we need this to correspond to His Divine Will in our lives. designs.

     If the new liturgical year of the Church, which is soon to begin, finds us faithful and making fresh progress, we shall be repaid with new aspects of truth, for the fruits we shall produce will be more plentiful and far sweeter than last year.  Let us make up our minds to walk worthy of God.

     Last year in Advent we meditated on the circumstances which are to accompany the last coming of Christ Our Lord; and in a few days the same great teachings will again be brought before us, filling our souls with a salutary fear.  May we then, be permitted  on this Last Sunday of the liturgical year, to address ourselves in prayer of desire and praise to our Majestic Lord and King, the solemn hour whose judgment is to be the consummation of His work, and the signal of this Triumph.

     O Jesus! Deliver and avenge your Church from every sort of insult known to man, so that the day of your coming will indeed be terrible to the sinner!  He will then understand how the Lord has made all things for Himself – all, even the ungodly, who, on that day, are to be shown divine justice.  The whole world fighting on Christ’s side will at last be avenged for that slavery of sin which had been forced upon it.  Vainly will the wicked cry out for the rocks to fall upon them, to hide them from the face of Him that will then be seated on His throne.  The abyss will refuse to engulf them, in obedience to Him who holds the keys of death and of hell, it will give forth it’ s wretched victims and set them at the foot of the dreaded Tribunal.

O Jesus, how magnificent will your power then appear!  The heavenly hosts will assemble the elect from the four corners of the earth.  Even now, all those blessed of the Father who have been so often renewed by receiving Your Precious Blood.

The trumpet of the Archangel, which will ring through the graves of the just, is to be a summons calling them, not to death, but to life; to the sight of the old enemy’s destruction; to a redemption which is to include their very bodies.  What will be the joy of that true day of the Lord!  What joy for them that have, by faith, lived in Christ and loved Him without seeing Him!  

What a triumph when, delivered forever from sin, and vested in their immortal bodies, they shall be held aloft before your face, that they may for ever be with you!

But their greatest joy on that great day will be to assist at the glorification of their most dear Lord, by the manifestation of the power which was given to Him over all flesh.  Then O Emmanuel!  Crushing the heads of Kings, and making your enemies into your footstool, You will be shown as the one Ruler of all nations.  Then will heaven, and earth, and hell bow their knee before that Son of Man, who appeared on earth as a slave, was judged and condemned, and was put to death between two thieves.  Then, dear Jesus, you will judge the unjust judges, and pass the irrevocable sentence on the wicked who will go to everlasting torments, and the just to eternal life.