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Year B, Cycle II

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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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LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF CHRIST OUR KING

Liturgical Colour: 

Jn. 18:33-37

Almost 2,000 years ago Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, accused of being an insurrectionist. The Jewish authorities had brought the charge that He was claiming to be a king. This was the most serious crime in the Roman Empire because it meant that the accused had dared to challenge the authority of the emperor. Pilate found the accusation difficult to believe as he looked at the lonely figure standing before him and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

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THE LIFE AFTER DEATH THAT COMES FROM LIVING THE TRUTH

Liturgical Colour: 

Apoc. 11:4-12 & Lk. 20:27-40

Today's first reading is one of the most obscure passages in the Book of Revelation. The two witnesses have to be Moses, who turned the river Nile into blood, and Elijah, who locked up the sky so that it did not rain. In this passage the witnesses are killed but after several days they come back to life. This means that people can try to destroy the truth but they can never kill it. The truth will always remain.

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BEWARE OF THE RIGHTEOUS ANGER OF JESUS

Liturgical Colour: 

Apoc. 110:8-11 & Lk. 19:45-48

The Book of Revelation was written at a time when the Church was undergoing persecution, and so it was written in a veiled style so that it would not be understood by pagans. As a result much of its meaning remains obscure for us today!

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TAKE COURAGE AND STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH!

Liturgical Colour: 

Apoc. 5:1-10 & Lk. 19:41-44

Many of the Christians were being discouraged because of persecution when the Book of Revelation was written. During this time the victory of Jesus' resurrection had faded from their mind. Instead His death was uppermost in their thoughts and they wondered if they were to share His fate.

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