The Ordinary Cycle of the Year (b)
Sunday 25th November: Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. (B)
The first reading is from the Prophet Daniel. He foresees the coming of one who will have dominion over all peoples. The early Christians saw this as a reference to Christ, the Universal King.
The second reading is from the Book of Revelation. It refers to Christ taking full possession of his kingdom only at the end of time.
In the Gospel, Jesus declares before Pilate that he is indeed a King but that his kingdom is not like the kingdoms of this world.
Monday 26th November: Monday of the 34th week of the year.
As we move into the last week of the Ordinary Season of the Church’s year, we continue our readings from the Book of Revelation and St. Luke’s Gospel.
Today we read of the Lamb (or Christ) with a huge number of people all around him. They stand in stark contrast to the beast and his followers. The 144,000 bear the name of the Lamb and the Father on their foreheads. This indicates that they were the loyal followers, that they were secure and safe. They give praise and thanks to God for their salvation.
The woman in the Gospel passage is praised because of her generosity in giving from the little she had to the poor. In her Jesus recognises the giving of self, a message he has been trying to teach his disciples all along the way to Jerusalem.
Tuesday 27th November: Tuesday of the 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 28th 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 29th 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 Christ, the liberator, will appear in glory and majesty. We are therefore to stand ready to meet him and be welcomed by him.
Friday 30th November: Solemnity of St. Andrew.
He is a native of Bethsaida and was a follower of John the Baptist before being called by Jesus. He then introduced his brother, Peter, to Jesus. He brought the message of Christ to the Gentiles and is believed to have preached in many parts of the then known world. He is the Patron Saint of Scotland, Russia and Greece. His death on a diagonal cross is commemorated in the Scottish flag. He introduced many to Jesus e.g. St. Peter, his brother. He died on the cross in Achaia
Saturday 1st December: 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.