November 27, 2015
Today’s readings: Daniel 7:2-14; Daniel 3:75-81; Luke 21:29-33
There have been very many great and powerful earthly kingdoms that have come and gone. Oftentimes they have acted like rampaging beasts, bringing death and destruction to many peoples. Daniel in a vision saw “four immense beasts …. The first was like a lion …. The second beast was like a bear …. another beast, like a leopard ….a fourth beast, terrifying, horrible” (Dn 7:2-7). These were succeeding world empires–Babylonian, Median, Persian and Greek. All these great world kingdoms are now long gone, relegated to the pages of history. They had great power in their days, but “their dominion was taken away” (Dn 7:12a).
Throughout history, many such kingdoms, many of them colonialist, held sway in the world and caused affliction to very many peoples. Today we still have such worldly kingdoms–the USA, Russia, China, etc. They are all trying to increase further their power and dominion, but what does the future hold for them? For sure, just like all the others, they will also eventually fade from the scene.
At the end of time there will only be one kingdom left, strong and secure. It will be the Kingdom of God, under the lordship of Christ the King. “His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, his kingship, one that shall not be destroyed.” (Dn 7:14c).
Here is the good news. We all belong as citizens of earthly kingdoms, but our true citizenship is in heaven. Our earthly kingdoms will pass away, but the Kingdom of God remains forever. Thus, as we look to the end times, as we await the coming of the King of kings, even as we dread the tribulation that will happen, “when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” (Lk 21:31). On that day, we will see “coming with the clouds of heaven One like a son of man. When he reached the Ancient of Days and was presented before him, he received dominion, splendor, and kingship” (Lk 21:13b-14a).
At that time, all will “praise and exalt him above all forever” (Dn 3:75b). All of creation–”mountains and hills, …. everything growing on earth, …. springs, …. seas and rivers, …. sea monsters and all water creatures, …. birds of the air, …. beasts, wild and tame”–will “bless the Lord” (Dn 3:75-81).
How about humankind? Well, they are the only ones with free will to accept or reject Jesus and his salvation. And so they need to be evangelized. We need to share Christ so that they can meet Christ and live Christ, so that they will appropriate for their lives the salvation Jesus won on the cross for them, so that they can also make it to heaven. This work is urgent, as most peoples on earth are more under the dominion of worldly powers, which themselves are under the dominion of the evil one. They need to hear the gospel and be led to repentance and faith in Jesus. Then, at the end of time, “all nations, peoples and tongues will serve him.” (Dn 7:14b).
Onward to the New Evangelization!
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God bless you all.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)
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