Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 22 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 93:1, 1-2, 5
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Today marks the last Sunday of the Church year, celebrating the coming of the Son of Man on the clouds of heaven at the end of time.
In every century, Christians have found immense consolation from these readings, and give us hope that, despite the violence, wars and crimes against humanity in our times, God's justice will prevail at the end. Just when we seem to be heading for cosmic, social and personal disaster, we are reminded that God is still in charge, that we belong to a kingdom that will never fail us, an eternal kingdom of justice, peace and love.
God speaks to us today through the writings of two great visionaries - - the Old Testament prophet, Daniel, and the New Covenant writer, John. Although they are "dream visions," we can confidently believe that they carry God's inspired truth. Daniel wrote at a time of great distress for the Jews under the Greek ruler, Antiochus Epiphanes II.
Such visions gave the people courage to endure, just as today's reading about Jesus "coming on the clouds of heaven" encourages us. In John's time, Christians were already suffering persecution under the Emperor Domitian. As Jesus was with the Father at the creation of the world, so will He be the one to judge all nations at the end of time. He says of Himself in John's vision, "I am the Alpha and the Omega" (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet). He is our past, our present, and our future King.
Every living follower of Christ has reason to find meaning and purpose in the wonderful statement John makes about our role in this kingdom. "To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for His God and Father, to Him be the glory and power forever and ever. Amen."
In the Gospel, Jesus boldly affirms to Pilate that He is that Son of Man who will come on the clouds of heaven as a king. In effect, Jesus is saying, "Don't worry, Pilate. I'm not here to take your job, or to dethrone Caesar; for my kingdom is not political, but spiritual. It's not on your maps!" When Jesus affirms that His whole purpose is to testify to the truth, Pilate cynically asks, "What is Truth?"
May those words serve to melt all pessimism, doubt and despair about the ultimate triumph of good over evil, and of the effectiveness of our witness through prayer and suffering, as we struggle to live the Truth that the "Pilates" of our day so freely reject!
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, November 22, 2009
The Solemnity of Christ the King
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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