Greetings on this the Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Dn 7:15-27; Daniel 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87; Lk 21:34-36
Concluding the readings of Daniel reminds us of its purpose:
Strictly speaking, the book does not belong to the prophetic writings but rather to a distinctive type of literature known as “apocalyptic,” of which it is an early specimen. Apocalyptic writing first appears about 200 B.C. and flourished among Jews and Christians down to the Middle Ages, especially in times of persecution. Apocalyptic literature has its roots in the older teaching of the prophets, who often pointed ahead to the day of the Lord, the consummation of history. For both prophet and apocalyptist there was one Lord of history, who would ultimately vindicate the chosen people (NABRE, Intro Dan).
There is an important observation Daniel makes.
I, Daniel, found my spirit anguished within its covering of flesh,
and I was terrified by the visions of my mind.
I approached one of those present
and asked him what all this meant in truth.
- We recognize the terrifying things that can be in this world at the hands of man and occasionally in nature.
- We desire the truth.
The Five Natural Inclinations of Man
- The good.
- Sexual union and the rearing of offspring.
- Knowledge of the truth.
- Live in society.
Daniel reassures his readers (intended audience) that all these evils they are experiencing are going to come to an end.
- First, in time, that is in the ordinary history of humankind, despots will not have the final word. The Lord will come to the rescue of all oppressed people.
- Second, in the end of time, all these difficulties will come to an end.
Then the kingship and dominion and majesty
of all the kingdoms under the heavens
shall be given to the holy people of the Most High,
Whose Kingdom shall be everlasting:
all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Built into us are these natural inclinations for Justice and Peace.
We just need to follow these instincts not the instincts of domination.
Give glory and eternal praise to him.
Be vigilant at all times and pray
That you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
We continue the reading in Luke about Vigilance.
(Tomorrow overlaps some of the Gospel reading from today).
There is an old saying that goes like this.
When the Hebrews were leaving Egypt, crossing the Sea, the four types of experiences:
- Some looking at their feet see mud, dead fish and other bottom of the Sea things.
- Some looking behind them at the approaching murderous Army coming to kill them.
- Some looking at the walls of water to their right and their left, amazed at the sight.
- And, finally, some kept their eyes on Moses and the Horizon of a new beginning.
Which do you think were happiest?
The ones focused on The Arrival.
Peace be with you,