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34th Sunday in Ordinary Time / Solemnity of Christ the King – Year A – November 26, 2017

God the Judge… To Save

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
https://youtu.be/W2SGe8c92sI

Introduction

“Go, cursed people, out of my sight into the eternal fire, which has been prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt 25:41). These are the most terrible words that we find in the gospel and are not the only ones on the lips of Jesus. Luke and Matthew remember others: “I don’t know where you come from! Away from me, all you workers of evil” (Lk 13:27). “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom all that is scandalous and all who do evil. And these will be thrown into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt 13:41-42). “Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the dark” (Mt 22:13). “But his master will come on the day he does not know, and at the hour he least expects. He will dismiss that servant, and deal with him as with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt 24:51).

 

These phrases are clearly etched in our minds. They have inspired legions of artists who painted scenes of terror, despair, and torment. They have suggested lyrics such as the Dies irae, the most impressive of the descriptions of the Last Judgment. They have offered inspiration to musicians who have translated into sounds the anguish of the crucial moment when Christ will pronounce the final judgment.

The judgment of God has been presented and continues today to be seen by many as a dramatic rendering of account. Thus an encounter with the Lord, far from being desired and expected, is for everyone, even for the righteous, a big unknown. In the face of the One who “who can charge his angels with error” (Job 4:18) who can feel safe? Many Christians already consider a great luck being able to take a few years of purgatory.

Is this the justice of God?

To internalize the message, we repeat:
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad because the Lord judges the world… with his justice.”

Watch the Bible Study Session held in Epiphany Parish, Mui Wo by Fr. Alberto Rossa: https://youtu.be/W-Vgkoq2O_A

Rossa BIBLE CLASS

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1st Sunday of Advent – Year B – December 3, 2017

Waiting for His coming

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
https://youtu.be/sMMKQy0pTTo

 

Introduction

 

“A man of noble birth went to a distant country to assume regal authority, after which he planned to return home. He summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds of silver. He said, ‘Put this money to work until I get back’” (Lk 19:12-13).

 

From this parable and from the incorrect translation of some words of the Lord, as, for example, “I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you” (Jn 14:18), the idea surged up that, on the day of the Ascension, Jesus would leave of his disciples to return, in the splendor of His glory, at the end of time. The expression “return of the Lord,” although commonly used, could be misunderstood. The liturgical texts avoid it because Jesus has not left us; he did not go away, our life is not lived in his absence.

 

The Greeks imagined Zeus imperturbable on the Olympus, blessed beyond human misery. He was, according to the oracle of Pausanias, “the one who was, is and will be.” The Christian God is different, “the one who is, who was and who is to come” (Rev 1:8); not “the Lord who returns,” but “one who never ceases to come.” Entering in, he commits himself in the history of the world and renews, together with humans, the whole of creation: he cures the sick, heals the wounds caused by sin, turns off the hatred, preaches love and guides the world “into the way of peace” (Lk 1:79).

 

The early Christians implored: “Maranàtha: Come, O Lord!” (1 Cor 16:22). “Come, Lord Jesus” is the invocation which concludes the book of Revelation (Rev 22:20).

 

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
Come, Lord Jesus! Come and with us renew the world.

 

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2nd Sunday of Advent – Year B – December 10, 2017

Don’t travel along ancient roads,

look for new ways

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
https://youtu.be/ycHzgO38jNY

 

Introduction

 

One day the disciples of a rabbi broke in the classroom and, beaming, told the good news: “The Messiah has come.” Unperturbed, the teacher walked to the window, turned around his eyes and looked at the people who, like every morning, moved hurriedly along the street. The poor at the crossroads were begging for alms, the owners shouting at the servants, the children were crying, the blind were led by the hand, the lame struggled to walk. He sat down, invited the students to continue studying, then added, “How could the Messiah come into the world if everything continues as before?”

 

When will the oracles of the prophets come true? Until when must we wait for “a new heaven and a new earth in which justice reigns” (2 Pt 3:13)?

 

The story seems to speak against the Lord’s promises; it seems a denial of the Christian faith in Jesus as the Messiah. After thousands of years, “the sound of distress and the voice of weeping” (Is 65:19) have not gone away. The swords are not changed into plowshares or their spears into pruning hooks (Is 2:4).

 

Doubts about God’s faithfulness to the commitment made to bring forth a new world appear when one forgets that the lovers’ time are not scanned by the clock but by love: an hour passes in an instant and a moment seems to be a lifetime. Those who love are patient and know how to wait. To have Rachel, Jacob served the father-in-law for seven years “which seemed to him only a few days because he loved her so much” (Gn 29:20).

 

The Lord also expects us to the open wide our heart and, for him, “a thousand years” waiting “is like one day” (2 Pt 3:8).

 

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
Lord, make us abandon the old paths, teach us to prepare for you a new way.”

 

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