Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Sunday Readings

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, November 18, 2018

Readings: Daniel 12.1-3; Hebrews 10:11-14,18; Mark 13.24-32

Our prayer practice consists of prolonged periods of silence in the consent of love to the Presence of the Triune God in unknowing.  (“Unknowing” means we do not seek or engage in conceptualization.  Rather, when we are aware of thoughts we gently return to the intention of being with God in silence and love.)

Outside of the prayer period we open our consciousness by going deeper into Sacred Scripture through the lectio divina process  upon which centering prayer is based (see Methodology on this site).   Indeed, our whole Catholic contemplative tradition is based on lectio divina.

This Sunday’s readings bring us into the cosmic dimension of our faith.  In the light of faith we see that we pray with and in Him who is the Whole Christ.  The Whole Christ is Jesus, Lord, in the final state of His glory.  In this final state, all creation actually is in the process of being re-constituted in Him, sharing His glory as Son of God, risen savior of the whole creation.

“Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2.9-11

In the First Reading Daniel the prophet speaks of the great summing-up, the last things of this present world at the final coming of Christ in glory.  The mention of Michael stirs up within us the sense of the great struggle against Satan—hence the popular Catholic prayer: “St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle….”  As in a microcosm we experience this very cosmic struggle in the turmoil of our false selves, in the conditions of our suffering world, and in the ever present victories of evil in history.

The reading calls us to center into Jesus, the Lord in glory, foretold in Daniel.  Christ by his sufferings on the cross and by his victory in resurrection reigns as the Savior of history and the cosmos.  Keep constantly in mind that each period of prayer is our going into the real victory of Christ, from battle into victory. We become one with Christ in Whom all things are being brought to conclusion: The final, “It is finished” of Christ. Every period of prayer however difficult is evidence of the victory of Jesus our Lord who restores all things in himself.

The Second Reading opens us up to this mystery of fullness of Christ. 

But Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are placed beneath His feet.
In the Gospel we are steadied upon the Rock who is Jesus our Lord and Savior in face of the trials we must endure.  The heaven and the earth will pass away, but My words will not. 

When we study the findings of astronomical investigations we are awed.  Looking into the beauty and power of the universe, it is not the scientific mind of the scientists that enraptures us, but the power of the Christ by Whom and for Whom all this evolving universe was created.  The cosmos will find its perfection in His victory.  Yet this Christ is Jesus our Savior, the Sacred merciful Heart that fills all creation with divine compassion, who lived among us, Jesus Son of Man, from Nazareth of Galilee.

There is further consolation in the Gospel.  All that is to happen is in the hands of the Father.  As to the exact day or hour, no one knows it, neither the angels in heaven nor even the Son, but only the Father.

In our places of prayer, in the prayer corners or churches where we sit in silent, contemplative prayer in faith, hope and love, we are involved in cosmic realities.  Our consent is to the Divine Love by which all in the cosmos is governed, ultimately.  The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of this final victory of Christ over chaos.Wiliam C. Fredrickson, Obl. (Lay) OSB; D.Min.

For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Frederickson