November begins with All Saints Day and ends in or near Advent, when we anticipate Christ’s coming again. So the readings today tell of the final resurrection and the end time. In the turmoil of hope, fear, and disbelief that these predictions provoke in us, Hebrews sounds a note of confident trust. Christ makes a way for us where there is no way, and we walk it confidently, our hearts and bodies washed in baptismal water, trusting the one who has promised. The more we see the last day approaching, the more important it is to meet together to provoke one another to love.
Readings and Psalm
First Reading: Daniel 12:1-3
Psalm: Psalm 16
I have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, my good a- | bove all other.”
2All my delight is in the godly that are | in the land,
upon those who are noble a- | mong the people.
3But those who run after | other gods
shall have their troubles | multiplied.
4I will not pour out drink offerings | to such gods,
never take their names up- | on my lips.
5O Lord, you are my portion | and my cup;
it is you who up- | hold my lot.
6My boundaries enclose a | pleasant land;
indeed, I have a | rich inheritance.
7I will bless the Lord who | gives me counsel;
my heart teaches me night | after night.
8I have set the Lord al- | ways before me;
because God is at my right hand, I shall | not be shaken.
9My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spir- | it rejoices;
my body also shall | rest in hope.
10For you will not abandon me | to the grave,
nor let your holy one | see the pit.
11You will show me the | path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for- | evermore.
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14 [15-18] 19-25
16“This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds,”
17he also adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.]
19Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Gospel: Mark 13:1-8
3When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4“Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. 6Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.”