FRIDAY, THIRTY FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Rv 20: 1-4, 11 – 21: 2; Ps 84: 3-6, 8; Lk 21: 29-33
SOMEONE STRONGER THAN SATAN!
We have reached the last week of the Liturgical year and for some days now, the Scripture passages have been painting vivid pictures of ‘the end’: the cosmic battle, great tribulation, judgements and, most importantly, the passing away of heaven and earth. Some of them may appear to be like fairy tales, but unlike fairy tales which are merely phantasy and mainly composed to delight the mind of children, here we are dealing with apocalyptic literature, which has deep mystical significance. Of course, we can get lost in poetic expressions, unusual images and strange literature, but if we study these texts a little more and reflect on them, they have profound messages for our times.
In today’s first reading we have the dragon. They don’t exist as we usually depict them, often breathing fire. However, they could refer to some huge lizards alive today or even the so called extinct dinosaurs. In Christianity, dragons represent Satan. What a sight to see someone completely control Satan (dragon), seized with a chain and tied up for a thousand years, in the book of Revelation. This indicates that terror and the forces of darkness have a limit. There is someone stronger than Satan.
There has been a debate going on for centuries regarding the actual meaning of the thousand years. This period is not to be taken mathematically according to St Augustine. It rather refers to the long time taken from the death of Christ to his second coming. Even though we are on this earth and have to pass through tribulation, we already participate and share in the resurrection of Christ. In the Gospel through the parable of the fig tree, Jesus is telling us to notice the signs of the time so we can discern what is of real value and what is fleeting. There are mainly two things that remain: the words of Jesus and the deeds of the just (recorded in the book of life).
Response: Behold, the dwelling of God is with men.
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