Father David's Reflection for Friday of Week Thirty-Four (Ordinary Time)
The theme of the readings is that Christ’s victory is final, complete, and will last forever. In the Rite of
Communion we celebrate this by anticipation as an accomplished fact. This calls us to abandon all we are and have to Christ, to manage everything only in his interests as stewards of his kingship. And for ourselves we ask only: “Give us this day our daily Bread, and forgive us as we forgive...”
Daniel 7:2-14 is a prophetic dream about “hard testing”—trials and tribulations symbolized by “four immense beasts.” But finally “the Ancient One took his throne.... The court was convened, the books opened.” The time of reckoning was at hand.
The beast was slain.... The other beasts, lost their dominion, but were granted a prolongation of life for a time.... Then Daniel saw One like a son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven. When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, he received dominion, glory, and kingship. Nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away.
Revelation continues this:
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready; to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
This is what we celebrate, and by anticipation enter into, in the Rite of Communion. Jesus is the Bread, the joy of the wedding banquet. All are united in perfect unity and peace, forgiving perfectly as they are forgiven. It is the “perfection of love” made present within and between all humans and God. This is Christ’s triumph. We celebrate this, enter into it, even let ourselves feel it, if that is granted, when together we are all one with God and each other in Communion (Revelation 19:6-9. See The Documents of Vatican II, “The Church,” no. 40).
In Luke 21:29-33 Jesus says, “Notice the trees when they are budding.”
As soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
We see a “budding” in the peace and unity we experience in Communion. We have taken ourselves out of the space and time of this world and its conflicts. We are enclosed in the special time and space of the “end time.” For those few moments all are one in the “communion of the Holy Spirit.”
Then we “know that the Kingdom of God is near.” No matter what changes; no matter what arises, declines, and dies; we live by the promise of Jesus: “The heavens and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass.” His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward: look to a glorious future and work for it.