34th Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 2
Sunday 23rd November: Solemnity of Christ the King. (a)
In a powerful way, the Church year ends with the celebration of Christ the King. Next Sunday is the start of Advent. St. Matthew presents us with the scene of Christ coming as a king in judgement. It is, in a way, the other side of the Beatitudes where the poor and the suffering were called ‘blessed.’ At Judgement Day, the Lord will ask us, ‘What have you done for the poor and those who weep?’ Jesus shows himself not only as being close to the poor and the humble but he is himself the gentle, the sick the persecuted. He asks us, ‘Have you met me in them?’ What do we answer him?
Monday 24th November: Memorial of St. Andrew Dung Lac and Companions.
117 martyrs in this group were martyred when Christians in Vietnam were persecuted from 1625 to 1886. Although they all died at different times, they were canonised at the same time by Pope John Paul II in June 1988. Of the group, 96 were Vietnamese. Andrew Dung-Lac is a diocesan priest and he is one of the group who was specifically mentioned. He was beheaded in 1839
Tuesday 25th November: Tuesday of 34th week of the year.
Today we are given a vision of the Last Judgement. The message is couched in terms of a harvest – of grain and of grapes. Those who have persevered in their efforts will be with the Lord.
Jesus reminds his listeners that even things which seem to be permanent will disappear. The Jews thought that much was irreplaceable in their way of life so this message would have particular relevance for them. The end of the world will come with much chaos
Wednesday 26th November: Wednesday of the 34th week of the year.
We are given another vision of heaven, this time in terms of a sea of glass with flames passing through it. Those who were martyred, those who persevered are the ones who sing the great hymn of praise.
In the Gospel, the theme of perseverance is also stressed. It is through persevering in spite of all the challenges and difficulties that the followers of Jesus will emerge victorious
Thursday 27th November: Thursday of the 34th week of the year.
In this reading, it is thought that Babylon refers to the Rome of Nero’s time. It is become a place of evil and debauchery but this Rome will be destroyed. Those who persevere in spite of the persecution they have to endure will be rewarded.
More signs will occur as the world moves to its end. Then Chist, the liberator, will appear in glory and majesty. We are therefore to stand ready to meet him asnd be welcomed by him.
Friday 28th November: Friday of the 34th week of the year.
The power of Satan is being chained and confined to the abyss (hell). The souls of the just are brought into the presence of the Lord. Their names will be written in the Book of Life. We will have written our own destiny by the lives we have led. This final part of the Book of the Apocalypse opens with the vision of a new heaven and a new earth, the setting of the new Jerusalem.
The Kingdom is in the process of establishing itself St. Luke tells us and we should use nature and its cycle to help us see this.
Saturday 29th November: Saturday of the 34th week of the year.
We reach the end of the Book of the Apocalypse and the end of the Church’s year. We are given another description of heaven, this time more understandable. There will be no more evil, only good things. The Lord will be a light to all.
For the past few days, we have been listening to the preaching of Jesus just before his arrest and crucifixion. We are told to watch and pray, to stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.
Hail Redeemer, King Divine,
Priest and Lamb, the throne is thine,
King whose name creation thrills
Rule our minds our hearts our wills.
Angels, saints and nations sing,
Praised be Jesus Christ our King,
Lord of Life, earth, sky and sea,
King of Love on Calvary.