33rd Sunday of Year B



The last days and things

By Kevin Aldrich

Overview of
Doctrinal Homily

Catechism Themes

Kevin Aldrich

Written as an aid for homilists and a resource for the faithful, this doctrinal homily outline (1) provides insights into the Lectionary readings, (2) explicates a doctrine of Catholic Faith or morals from them, and (3) shows specific ways lay persons can live these truths.

Click on title to read everything from Kevin Aldrich.  What follows are only excerpts of Catechism themes you will find on his blog. 

First Reading

  • There lies ahead “a time unsurpassed in distress,” which Christ calls a great tribulation…
    • Unified evil has been thwarted in the past by language and geography, but daily the world is growing smaller and more unified.
  • We have no reason to be discouraged…

Responsorial Psalm

  • Here is a foreshadowing of the Eucharist…
  • The only reason we can face temptation, suffering, and distress is because of the faith that God is at our side…

Second Reading

  • The author of the Book of Hebrews contrasts the endless sacrifices offered by the priests of the Old Covenant with the one sacrifice of Christ’s New Covenant…
  • We are now in a middle period of history between Christ’s redemption and his Second Coming…


  • In every age, followers of Christ will face persecution…
  • Jesus’ declares that the Temple of Jerusalem will be destroyed within the lifetime of the apostles…
  • The end for most of us will be the moment of death and our particular judgment…


The Last Judgment and the hope of a new heaven and a new earth

  • Although it is Christ’s will and our own that no one be lost…
  • Then, “the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness…
    • “Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed…
  • Nothing good from our earthly life will be lost …
    • As Cyril of Jerusalem put it…


What to do now to be ready for the hour of our death

  • It is very wise to meditate on…
  • It is very wise to get rid of anything that would…
  • It is very wise to do those acts which will…
  • In our leisure, we can pray…
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FRANCISCAN FRIARS (10:44) – Fr. Daniel J. Mahan, S.T.L., pastor of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Bloomington, Indiana, and St. Jude the Apostle in Spencer covers the entire Catechism in 111 videos, giving an outline of the content along with clear easy to follow explanations. The series is based on the 2nd Edition of the Catechism.

This Week’s Catechism Themes

“The following paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church resonate with the biblical readings for this Sunday. They were chosen either because they cite or allude to the specific readings, or because they treat topics found in the readings.”  —Homiletic Directory

CCC 1038-1050: the Last Judgment; hope of a new heaven and a new earth
CCC 613-614, 1365-1367: Christ’s one perfect sacrifice and the Eucharist

Upcoming Sundays

Solemnity of Christ the King: Christ the origin and goal of history

CCC 440, 446-451, 668-672, 783, 786, 908, 2105, 2628: Christ as Lord and King
CCC 678-679, 1001, 1038-1041: Christ as Judge
CCC 2816-2821: “Thy Kingdom Come”

Featured Excerpts

READ IN CONTEXT/VIEW – Catechism of the Catholic Church. Order Hard Copy of the text in English and in Spanish.


1038 The resurrection of all the dead, “of both the just and the unjust,”623 will precede the Last Judgment. This will be “the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man’s] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.”624 Then Christ will come “in his glory, and all the angels with him. . . . Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”625

1039 In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare.626 The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life:

All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know. When “our God comes, he does not keep silence.”. . . he will turn towards those at his left hand: . . . “I placed my poor little ones on earth for you. I as their head was seated in heaven at the right hand of my Father – but on earth my members were suffering, my members on earth were in need. If you gave anything to my members, what you gave would reach their Head. Would that you had known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treasury. But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence.”627

1040 The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death.628

1041 The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them “the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation.”629 It inspires a holy fear of God and commits them to the justice of the Kingdom of God. It proclaims the “blessed hope” of the Lord’s return, when he will come “to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed.”630


1042 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed:

The Church . . . will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ.631

1043 Sacred Scripture calls this mysterious renewal, which will transform humanity and the world, “new heavens and a new earth.”632 It will be the definitive realization of God’s plan to bring under a single head “all things in [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth.”633

1044 In this new universe, the heavenly Jerusalem, God will have his dwelling among men.634 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”635

1045 For man, this consummation will be the final realization of the unity of the human race, which God willed from creation and of which the pilgrim Church has been “in the nature of sacrament.”636 Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, “the holy city” of God, “the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”637 She will not be wounded any longer by sin, stains, self-love, that destroy or wound the earthly community.638 The beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way to the elect, will be the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion.

1046 For the cosmos, Revelation affirms the profound common destiny of the material world and man:

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God . . . in hope because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay. . . . We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.639

1047 The visible universe, then, is itself destined to be transformed, “so that the world itself, restored to its original state, facing no further obstacles, should be at the service of the just,” sharing their glorification in the risen Jesus Christ.640

1048 “We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth and of man, nor the way in which the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men.”641

1049 “Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectancy of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society.”642

1050 “When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise . . . according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from the stain of sin, illuminated and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father an eternal and universal kingdom.”643 God will then be “all in all” in eternal life:644

True and subsistent life consists in this: the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, pouring out his heavenly gifts on all things without exception. Thanks to his mercy, we too, men that we are, have received the inalienable promise of eternal life.645

Christ’s death is the unique and definitive sacrifice

613 Christ’s death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”,439 and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the “blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”.440

614 This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices.441 First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience.442

The sacrificial memorial of Christ and of his Body, the Church

1362 The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the making present and the sacramental offering of his unique sacrifice, in the liturgy of the Church which is his Body. In all the Eucharistic Prayers we find after the words of institution a prayer called the anamnesis or memorial.

1363 In the sense of Sacred Scripture the memorial is not merely the recollection of past events but the proclamation of the mighty works wrought by God for men.184 In the liturgical celebration of these events, they become in a certain way present and real. This is how Israel understands its liberation from Egypt: every time Passover is celebrated, the Exodus events are made present to the memory of believers so that they may conform their lives to them.

1364 In the New Testament, the memorial takes on new meaning. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ’s Passover, and it is made present the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present.185 “As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which ‘Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed’ is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out.”186

1365 Because it is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: “This is my body which is given for you” and “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.”187 In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”188

1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper “on the night when he was betrayed,” [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.189

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.”190

SOURCE: Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed. Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2012.
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Bishop Barron On Judgment and God


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Preparing For The New Earth And The New Heaven – Homily by Archbishop William Goh

ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF SINGAPORE (5:40)What will happen at the end of time? How the earth would be transfigured, we do not know. All we know is “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us” and that “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Rom 8:18,21) But this New Heaven and New Earth will be preceded by the final judgment. All of us would have to face the ultimate judgment when we stand before God to account for the way we use the gifts and graces that He has given to us. The real judgement is not so much of God the Father judging us, or judging us through Christ, but how we judge ourselves before God. Standing before God who is all light and truth, we will see clearly our motives and the consequences of our actions, good or evil, not just for ourselves but for the rest of humanity. Hence, the Church wants us to be forewarned of what will happen at the end of world history or our personal history. Between now and the final judgment, whether personal or collective, we are to prepare ourselves for this final event. Accordingly, if we want our names to be recorded in the Book of Life and not be sent to the burning lake which is the second death, that is hell, then we must be watchful and alert to the signs of the time. What are the signs that we are reading in society and history today? Is the world getting better or worse? What are the lights and shadows in our time? Are we moving towards a transformed world in the light of the Gospel, or are we moving into the world of darkness?

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The Lesser-Known Last Judgment

ASCENSION PRESENTS (8:18) – Death, judgment, heaven, and hell—the four last things—are popular enough topics among Christians discussing the end times; but there’s more to these things than just our own personal end. In this video​,​ Fr. Mike explains how, as the Catechism teaches, in the Last Judgment “the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation” will be made known to us (CCC 1040). All the good and evil you and I have done will also become known. Fr. Mike’s perspective on this reality is both fascinating and humbling.

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Why will there be a “New Earth”?

CATHOLIC ANSWERS (1:18) – Catholic Answers Senior Apologist Jimmy Akin explains what Rev 21:1 means when it says there will be “a new heaven and a new earth.”

RCL Benziger

Final Judgment

Final judgment is distinguished from the personal judgment that everyone undergoes immediately after death. This personal, or particular, judgment clarifies the meaning of a person’s life, whether or not the individual has lived morally in concert with God. Christ will judge whether that person has lived a life fundamentally opting to cooperate with God’s grace or to reject God’s grace. This judgment is not arbitrary, since it is based on one’s words and deeds, one’s conduct here and now. In a sense, the judgment rendered is not imposed but arises out of a person’s own life, and this particular account is brought to the light of Christ, who reveals the truth.

The final judgment, in contrast to individual judgment, concerns all of human history. Final judgment implies that history will not merely stop or that the story of creation will end without resulting in God’s action. What is happening even now and what will be further clarified at the end of time is the renewal of the world in Christ. The last judgment will be in the form of a glorious revelation of God’s triumph over evil.

Both the teaching on particular judgment and on final judgment proclaim that we are creatures who are given life and the responsibility to act in accord with God’s plan in Jesus Christ. We are not created to be aimless or to decide our lives on the basis of personal taste or through a merely individual calculus. We are responsible to live up to the covenant established with us by God in Christ.

Scriptural descriptions with apocalyptic imagery regarding the end times are not to be read literally. Catholics read those descriptions with eyes of faith, understanding that our destiny and our hope, our anchor through rough personal and historic times, can only be found in Christ who is “the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega” (RM, Service of Light, Easter Vigil).

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

Lesson Plans (PDF)

Lesson segments: Opening Prayer, Life Reflection, Listening to the Word of God, Scripture Discussion Starters, Scripture Background, Questions for Deeper Reflection, Doctrinal Discussion Starters, and the Gospel in Life

Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High Session

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Human beings were created with the freedom to choose whether or not to live in cooperation with God. Throughout human history we have seen the devastating consequences of decisions made apart from the grace of God. It is up to us to make choices that help to renew the earth and bring about Christ’s presence. It is part of God’s ultimate plan that we live in heaven forever with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It is our responsibility to do our best to live in accordance with God’s grace.

Catholics believe that every person undergoes personal judgment. Immediately after death Christ will determine whether or not a person has lived a life in cooperation with God’s grace. Personal judgment differs from final judgment. Final judgment concerns all of human history.

Final judgment will occur when Jesus comes again in glory. We believe that the world is currently being renewed by the presence of Christ. In the final days, the world as we know it will be completely transformed into a new and wonderful place.

The last judgment is when God will ultimately triumph over evil and establish a new heaven and earth. Catholics interpret the imagery regarding the end times with eyes of faith. Final judgment is perceived as the glorious revelation of God’s power over evil.

• Explain your thoughts and feelings about the final judgment.
• How can you make choices that help to renew the earth?

The Gospel in Life
Remember that God is loving and merciful. When you are faced with a difficult decision, pray for guidance and direction. You will not be led astray.

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

RCL Benziger

Textbook Series Correlations

Be My Disciples (PDF)

Blest Are We (PDF)


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