Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 497. Revelation 1:1-4;2:1-5. Psalm 1:1-184.108.40.206.
Advent approaches we continue to be inspired by God's word in the final
weeks of the liturgical year. They naturally are oriented to make us think
and pray about the last things--Jesus' Second Coming (Parousia and
Judgment, end of the world). Of course, no one knows when the end will
come not even the newly presented Illuminati of the media and literature
world. We rely on reason seeking meaning of our faith and on those who
have soberly and academically looked at the endtimes. Father Raymond E.
Brown states in his remarks about Revelation and today's excerpt from
Revelation is then clarified: " God has not revealed to human beings about
how the world began or how the world will end, and failing to realize that,
one is likely to misread the first book (Genesis) and the last book
(Revelation) in the Bible. The author of Revelation did not know how or
when the world will end, and neither does anyone else." Gary Burbank of
700 A.M. radio invented a character who would end his little wisdom
snippets with the expression "Wake up, America!"
Next week our Sunday readings will bring all of our thoughts together on
the Feast of Christ the King--a perfect image of Jesus from the Book of
Revelation. Jesus will tell us to worship God alone and not listen to
predictions from false prophets and from any prophets about the end of the
world. It is in the hands of Christ the King who depends on the Father for
the actual bringing the world as we know it to an end. We are to calmly
and patiently prepare for that coming and the other comings of Christ as
the season of Advent (Coming) approaches at the end of this month.
We take from today's reading from Revelation the message of Jesus to the
Church in Ephesus--"Return to your original and enthusiastic love of the
Good News when you first heard it. Or if you have not, learn to experience
it for the first time. Try it! You will like it.
Psalm 1 is a clear wisdom psalm that helps us to pray the rest of the
Psalms. It draws up the contrasts of those who pray and are righteous from
those who just wander through life without praying or thinking about
priorities. The verb used for meditating is a good word for praying while
reflecting, pondering over, thinking within the context of faith, and just
ruminating on the sacred word of God. Mysticism is not left aside in the
meaning of what such prayer consists of in Psalm 1.
The Gospel presents the final encounter of Jesus with a blind person. It
happened on two occasion before the journey narrative and now from the old
city of Jericho it happens with a blind man crying out, "Jesus, Son of
David, have pity on me....Son of David, have pity on me. He will then be
brought to Jesus and says "Lord." Jesus is thus very special to him. This
man also has given us the mystical prayer called the Jesus Prayer--so short
yet so deep with meaning. Fr. Karris, a Franciscan expert on Luke,
summarizes this important scene in this fashion:Now Luke uses a story of
Jesus'mercy toward a blind beggar to conclude his travel narrative and to
summarize Jesus' ministry for society's unfortunates. As the contrast of
persistence and faith of the blind man with the disciples (18:31-34) shows,
there is another dimension to the story. It is only the sight of faith
which opens eyes to see who Jesus is and to follow him." ( NJBCommentary,
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