Sunday Readings: Daniel 12.1-3; Hebrews 10.11-14,18; Mark 13.24-32
“About the day or hour when these things will happen, no one knows.”
Sunday’s gospel comes Mark 13, often called the “little apocalypse.” Apocalyptic writing is a literary genre akin to science fiction or dystopian fiction today. It’s a resistance literature that looks at the struggle between good and evil in the world from the point of view of the oppressed. Apocalyptic writing creates symbols, codes, and visionary journeys that project how good will triumph but keep it secret from the oppressors. In much this same way spirituals expressed slaves’ desire for freedom but kept their meaning hidden from owners.
We worry today about cataclysmic ends of the world today, too. Star Wars describes a great cosmic battle in which good finally triumphs over evil. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings explores in the symbol of the ring the lure to power and evil and in its characters the qualities that will save Middle Earth. Through the mentoring of Dumbledore, Harry Potter learns as he grows up and hones his wizardry skills what will stop the evil V0ldemort and his Death Eaters. The secret for J.K. Rowling is not magic but Harry’s willingness to sacrifice himself out of love as his mother did to protect him.
Dystopian fiction enchants kids. We sympathize with divergents trying to transform a highly controlled society. Advertising for the final Hunger Games film has begun. We await what Katniss Everdeen, the Mockingjay, will do in the final film. Readers of the series know.
What worries you most about our society?
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