Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. (a)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 26th 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 27th November: Monday of 34th week of the year.
During this last week of the Church’s year, the Book of Daniel is used. Part of it contains the tales of the heroes of the Babylonian exile, some fictitious. The other part has accounts of visions, often called apocalyptical which means referring to the Last Judgement.
Today’s reading recounts the faithfulness of Daniel and his three friends who refuse to compromise their faith and belief by taking food that was against their laws and traditions.
In the Gospel the poor woman is praised because of her tremendous generosity in giving a large proportion of what she had to help the poor.
Tuesday 28th November: Tuesday of 34th week of the year.
The second story from Daniel is about a King’s dream. The King’s own interpreters and magicians could not interpret the dream for him so they are dismissed. Daniel is able to do both describe it and interpret it, after praying to God. He explains that all kingdoms will be wiped out in due course and replaced by the kingdom of the one true Gpod, the Gos of Israel.
In the Gospel, from Saint Luke, Jesus reminds his listeners that even the things that seem to be most permanent will disappear. The end of the world will come with much chaos. It is a message meant to wake us up to live the gospel now.
Wednesday 29th November: Wednesday of the 34th week of the year.
Today’s section deals with ‘the writing on the wall.’ It is a simple one-scene story about how a sacrilege (the use of temple vessels for secular needs) is dealt with swiftly by God. Only Daniel was able to interpret the meaning. Nebuchadnezzar’s reign has been found wanting. It will end and be replaced by a new kingdom.
The cost of discipleship is again stressed in the Gospel. The disciples have to be clear in their minds that they will be hounded and persecuted. Therefore, the need for perseverance is crucial.
Thursday 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
Friday 1st December: Friday of the 34th week of the year.
For the last ordinary day of the Church’s year, we read from one of the apocalyptic visions of Daniel. Today we hear of the four beasts that brought great misery to the people. In the end, one who is filled with wisdom and goodness destroys them. Evil is destroyed by good.
In the Gospel, Jesus teaches us to use nature to help see that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. The clear statement is given – ‘Stay awake.’
Jesus reminds us to use nature, such as the life history of a fig tree, to help us to see that the Kingdom of God is close at hand.
Saturday 2nd December: Saturday of the 34th week of the year.
The vision continues. The beasts referred to yesterday represent the various evil kingdoms that had tried to conquer Israel. They will be destroyed and replaced by a new kingdom, based on God’s sovereignty. The power of God will prevail.
For the past week, the ordinary daily readings have been looking at the teachings Jesus presented just before his arrest and crucifixion. Watch and pray. 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.
Luke has left us a complete guide to the Christian life, where the accent falls on the important things. He does not cut corners or mince his words.
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.