Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 19, A.D. 2006
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Don’t you love it when one of your friends starts off a conversation by saying quite solemnly, “There are two kinds of people . . . .”? We’re supposed to hold our breath for a brilliant analysis! So forgive me if I start off this meditation with one. There are two kinds of people: those who believe that life ends with death, and those who believe that death is just the beginning. It wasn’t so obvious to the Jews of the Old Testament. The Book of Daniel, from which our first reading is taken, is called an apocalyptic book. It talks about the archangel Michael, “the great prince,” directing some really dramatic events. For the first time, a belief in the resurrection of the body is stated pretty clearly. Not everyone will be happy about that, of course, especially if they haven’t lived a good life.
Then Mark’s Gospel gives us Jesus’ prophecy about the end times. Again, it’s pretty scary for people who haven’t prepared very well. After some gigantic cosmic fireworks, with the sun, the moon, and the stars going crazy, we will see the Son of Man coming in all his glory. Why is He coming? He’s coming to judge every person who was ever born. Some will enter into eternal joy, others into eternal pain.
There is no question that these readings should inspire us with a certain dread and fear. Yet, they are meant to give us great hope, especially in the second reading from Hebrews. Here, St. Paul assures us that Jesus, the High Priest, took on Himself the burden of our sins and destroyed them through His one-time sacrifice on Calvary. Jesus is a High Priest totally different from the other High Priests, for when He comes again (on the clouds of heaven), He comes to save us and bring all people to salvation. There is the most hopeful note in this next to the last Sunday of the Church year.
How many will be saved? When will all this happen? Mark’s Gospel tells us no one knows the time or the place, except the Father. So speculation is useless! What we need to do is live each day as though it were our last—in confident hope and constant love for God and neighbor.
Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(pwhitmore29 at yahoo dot com)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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