01.12.2023 — Apocalyptic Vision of Hope

Posted under Reflections on December 1st, 2023 by

34th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 1st December 2023 – Dan 7,2-14; Lk 21,29-33

Apocalyptic Vision of Hope

The first reading from Daniel presents in apocalyptic style, the succession of kingdoms that rule over Israel until God establishes an everlasting kingdom. The symbols and exotic images used in this vision describe apparently past events and convey a prophetic message of hope to people living under oppression and persecution. It describes the four kingdoms that existed between the Babylonian Exile and the time of destruction of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanes. The first beast is a winged lion and symbolizes the Babylonian empire under Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. The bear is the second beast and alludes to the Median kingdom. The quick moving leopard refers to the kingdom of Cyrus and the Persians. The fourth beast, the most terrible among others, is the Greek kingdom under the Seleucid kings, of which Antiochus IV Epiphanes was the worst since he destroyed the Temple and killed many faithful Jews until the Maccabean Revolt. This passage is meant to inspire and encourage the faithful with the promise of a new and everlasting kingdom that will be established by God. The ‘Son of Man’, the Christ, is the one in whom and through whom the salvation of God’s people would come to be realized. He is the expected Messiah, the King and Liberator of suffering Israel. He will be enthroned as ruler over the whole earth and his kingdom will never be destroyed.

30.11.2023 — Radical Response

Posted under Reflections on November 29th, 2023 by

St. Andrew, the Apostle, Thursday – 30th November 2023 — Gospel: Mt 4, 18-22

Radical Response

Andrew was the son of Jonah, the brother of Simon Peter, and a fisherman by trade. Both seem to have come from Bethsaida, although at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry they were in Capernaum. In all the Gospel lists of the apostles, as well as in the Acts (Acts 1,13), his name is listed among the first four. John’s Gospel narrates many incidents of Andrew’s life. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist before becoming a disciple of Jesus (Jn 1,40). As a result of his first encounter with Jesus, Andrew came to realize that Jesus was the Messiah. He then went to tell his brother Simon, whom he brought to Jesus (Jn 1,41). He and Philip also brought the Greeks to Christ (Jn 12,20-26). He is specifically mentioned for his involvement in the feeding of the five thousand (Jn 6,8). In other Gospels, he appears alongside Peter, James and John. Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras. His crucifixion is believed to have been on Cross that was shaped like the alphabet X. This cross is commonly known as “St.Andrew’s Cross” today.  Today’s Gospel reveals Andrew’s loving spontaneity and his radical trust in Jesus. When he was suddenly called to the extraordinary life of an Apostle, he readily left his nets and boats and followed him.

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