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Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

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“JESUS, REMEMBER ME IN YOUR KINGDOM”

Liturgical Colour: 

Apoc. 22:1-7 & Lk. 21:34-36

Today is the last day of the liturgical year before Advent begins tomorrow. The reading from the Book of Revelation presents the final scene of human history, the new Jerusalem, our heavenly home. And yet this final scene calls us back to the beginning of the human race and the beginning of our individual lives as Christians.

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THE KINGDOM IS NEAR

Liturgical Colour: 

Apoc. 20:1-4, 11-21:2 & Lk. 21:29-33

Jesus Christ will preside over the final judgement of the whole world. He was not given this authority by some arbitrary decision of God; He earned the right to judge the world by His sinless life and sacrificial death. Moreover, in Saint John's vision, Jesus Christ will be assisted in the final judgement by those brave men and women who followed His example, by living a saintly life and by dying a martyr's death.

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FEAR NOT FOR OUR LIBERATION IS AT HAND

Liturgical Colour: 

Rev. 18:1-2, 21-23, 19:1-3, 9 & Lk. 21:20-28

There are contrasting scenes presented by Saint John in the First Reading today. One concerns evil and the other good. He tells us of the work of two angels. The first of them has great authority and his presence lights up the Earth. He announces the fall of Babylon, the symbol of evil. The second angel hurls a great millstone into the sea. The millstone is Babylon. It is gone forever.

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ENCOURAGEMENT FOR US IN TIMES OF TRIAL

Liturgical Colour: 

Apoc. 15:1-4 & Lk. 21:12-19

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ONLY THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL ENDURE UNTIL THE END

Liturgical Colour: 

Apoc. 14:14-19 & Lk. 21:5-11

We have a vision of the coming of Jesus at the end of time in the First Reading today. He wears a gold crown to symbolise that He has conquered sin and He carries a sickle indicating that He will harvest the grain - separating the wheat from the chaff. He is helped by an angel who also wields a sickle and gathers the grapes to be thrown into the wine press of God's harvest.

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THE WAY TO GIVE

Liturgical Colour: 

Apoc. 14:1-5 & Lk. 21:1-4

What are we to make of Saint John's description of Heaven in the First Reading today? At first it seems as if Heaven is an exclusive club, to which numbers are restricted and secret songs are sung. If the population is to be only 144,000 it must be full already! My guess is that that number would not even include all the children who were baptised end died soon afterwards. Nor all the canonised saints and holy people who have gone before us. What room would there be for the likes of you and me?

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ROUSE FROM DROWSINESS YOUR HEART!

Dan. 7:15-27 & Lk. 21:34-36

Today is the last day of the Church's liturgical year. Tomorrow the season of Advent begins.

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JESUS SUFFERS WITH US

Dan. 6:1218 & Lk. 21:20-28

We think of God as a loving Father who cares for all His children. What then are we to make of today's readings? Are we wondering, 'How can God love His children if He treats them so badly?'

Daniel was forced to spend a night in a pit with lions. He had to endure the terrible fear of being killed by those ferocious animals, an ordeal which you and I would certainly not like to face, before God saved him.

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ENCOURAGEMENT IN TIMES OF TRIAL

Dan. 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28 & Lk. 21:12-19

Today's episode from the Book of Daniel tells about King Belshazzar's feast in which he used the Temple vessels and thereby desecrated them.

In the course of the feast the words “Mene, Tekel, Peres” appeared on the wall which Daniel was able to interpret. The gist of the message was “The party is over.” Not only had he profaned the vessels of the Temple but having committed atrocities he had become spiritually bankrupt. The division and loss of his kingdom were inevitable.

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ONLY THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL ENDURE TO THE END

Dan. 2:31-45 & Lk. 21:5-11

King Nebuchadnezzar has a vision of a huge idol with a head of gold, chest of silver, belly of bronze, legs of iron and feet of clay – and a stone hurtles towards it and smashes the idol to pieces!

Daniel interprets these various materials as different kingdoms, all of which are replaced or brought to an end by God’s kingdom, as represented by the stone. Kingdoms and empires have turned to dust, to be blown away throughout history, while God's Kingdom remains.

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