The Reign of the Lion

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 17th, 2014
of the Third Week of Advent

Liturgical texts here

 

HOW are we to understand the prophetic texts of Scripture which imply that, with the coming of the Messiah, justice and peace would reign, and He would crush His enemies beneath His feet? For would it not appear that 2000 years later, these prophecies have utterly failed?

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The Everlasting Dominion

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 29th, 2014
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

Liturgical texts here


The Fig Tree

 

 

BOTH Daniel and St. John write of a terrible beast that rises to overwhelm the entire world for a short time… but is followed by the establishment of God’s Kingdom, “an everlasting dominion.” It is given not only to the one “like a son of man”, [1]cf. First reading but…

…the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. (Dan 7:27)

This sounds like Heaven, which is why many mistakenly speak of the end of the world after the fall of this beast. But the Apostles and Church Fathers understood it differently. They anticipated that, at some point in the future, God’s Kingdom would come in a profound and universal way before the end of time.

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1. cf. First reading

The Horizon of Hope

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 3rd, 2013
Memorial of St. Francis Xavier

Liturgical texts here

 

 

ISAIAH gives such a consoling vision of the future that one could be forgiven for suggesting it is a mere “pipe dream.” After the purification of the earth by “the rod of [the Lord’s] mouth, and the breath of his lips,” Isaiah writes:

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall down with the kid… There shall be no more harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea. (Isaiah 11)

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The Survivors

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 2nd, 2013

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THERE are some texts in Scripture that, admittedly, are troubling to read. Today’s first reading contains one of them. It speaks of a coming time when the Lord will wash away “the filth of the daughters of Zion”, leaving behind a branch, a people, who are His “luster and glory.”

…the fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor for the survivors of Israel. He who remains in Zion and he who is left in Jerusalem will be called holy: every one marked down for life in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 4:3)

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