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Monthly Archives: November 2019

THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN

THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN

(A biblical refection on the FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT [Year A] – 1 December 2019)

Gospel Reading: Matthew 24:37-44 

First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalms: Psalm 122:1-2,4-9; Second Reading: Romans 13:11-14 

The Scripture Text

As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is  left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:37-44 RSV)

Christians usually call Jesus “the Son of God” but that was not Jesus’ favorite to describe Himself. Jesus actually preferred the title ”Son of Man”, which occurs 82 times in the Gospels. To this day, Scripture scholars cannot agree about what this title means.

The book of Daniel and another Jewish writing called the Similitudes of Enoch contain the term “Son of Man”. In both places, it refers to a Messiah-like figure God will send at the end of the world to bring salvation and judgment to all people. Some scholars believe this term applies to an individual while others think it stands for Israel. Jesus may have used this title to identify Himself as the Messiah.

Some of the Jewish people expected the Messiah to be a political and military figure who would lead them in battle against their enemies. They believed he would be a human being who, because he was gifted with God’s own Spirit, would be victorious in battle and would conquer the world. Through him, God would  establish a new order in the world, in which there would be no more wars, famines, or evil of any kind. This new order is what some Jews called “the reign of God” or “The Kingdom of God”.

Although Jesus did not fight any human enemies, He did score a victory over the most powerful enemy, the devil, and He promised to return one day to finish the job. When that happens, God will be in complete control of the world, and because the reign of God will be here in its entirety, there won’t be any more wars or evil of any kind.

In today’s Gospel, when Jesus tells us to prepare for the coming of the Son of Man He is really telling us to prepare for His own return. We do not know when this will happen so we must always be ready.

Two sentences in today’s Gospel particularly interest some Christian groups. Jesus says that two men will be in the field and two women will be at the grindstone. One man and one woman will be taken and the other two will be left. Because of this passage, some Christians believe that at Jesus’ second coming He will snatch up bodily those who are faithful to Him and will take them to heaven so they will spared the suffering that will take place at the end of the world. This is what some Christians call “th rapture”.

If the world ended today, would we (you and I) be ready to meet Jesus, the Messiah? How will you and your family use this Advent season to prepare for Jesus’ return?

(Adapted from Jerome J. Sabatowich, Cycling Through the Gospels – Gospel Commentaries for Cycles A, B, and C, pages 2-3.)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to devote Advent to preparing for Your coming into the world. Help me to immerse myself in Your love through the sacraments, prayer, Scripture, and repentance. Let the darkness of my sins give way to Your irresistible light. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Jakarta, 30 November 2019 [Feast  of Saint Andrew, Apostle]  

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JOHN 1:41

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Jakarta, 30 November 2019 [Feast Day of St. Andrew, Apostle}

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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LUKE 21:29-33

Jakarta, 29 November 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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LUKE 21:20-28

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Jakarta, 28 November 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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LUKE 21:12-19

Jakarta, 27 November 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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“…… Spouses can also learn to pray like this: LORD, GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY LOVE.” (Pope Francis)

Jakarta, 26 November 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2019 in QUOTABLE QUOTES 2019

 

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1 PETER 5:7

Jakarta, 25 November 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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1 CORINTHIANS 2:4

Jakarta, 24 November 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
 

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INRI – This is the King of the Jews: Solemnity of Christ the King [C] – Luke 23:35-43

Jakarta, 24 November 2019

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2019 in MISCELLANY

 

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CHRIST THE KING

CHRIST THE KING

 (Biblical reflection on the 34th and Last Sunday of the Year [C] – 24 November 2019)

 

Gospel Reading: Luke 23:35-43 

First Reading: 2Samuel 5:1-3; Psalms: Psalm 122:1-2,4-5; Second Reading: Colossians 1:12-20 

Scripture Text:

And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide His garments. And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself, if He is the Christ of God, His Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up and offering Him vinegar, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” There was also an inscription over Him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other rebuked Him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this Man had done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come in your kingly power.” And He said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:35-43 RSV) 

Because a king is the embodiment of his kingdom, whatever you do to him, you also do to his subjects. Thus insulting the king is just like insulting all the people he rules, and honoring him is like honoring the entire kingdom. The king, for his part, acts in the name of all of his subjects. When he forgives or pardons, the entire kingdom forgives or pardons through him.

Being our King, Jesus died on the cross not as an individual but as our representative. In a way, we were also tortured and nailed to the cross with Him. That is why Jesus’ suffering and death atoned for our sins, something that would not have been possible if Jesus were not our King.

Just as we can say we hung on the cross and died with Jesus, we can also use the same reasoning to claim we have risen from the dead with Him. Death no longer has power over Jesus nor any power over us. At the end of the world, we will rise from our graves, never to die again. This is a central teaching of our Christian faith.

In today’s Gospel, the crowd, the soldiers, and one of the thieves crucified next to Jesus mock Him, contemptuously asking if He is the Messiah they are expecting. Because God was supposed to anoint the Messiah with His Spirit, some of the Jews believed the Messiah would lead them in battle against their enemies and would eventually gain control of the world. Jesus, who was neither a successful  military leader nor a powerful political figure, failed to meet these expectations when He suffered a very disgraceful death as a common criminal. It seemed like Jesus was the exact opposite of what the Messiah was supposed to be.

When the Romans led a man outside the city for crucifixion, a soldier usually went before him carrying a sign announcing the man’s crime. The soldier later nailed his sign to the top of the cross. In today’s Gospel, the inscription above Jesus’ head identifies Him as the King of the Jews, a charge that, according to John’s Gospel, appeared in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek. In pictures of the crucified Jesus, this sign usually contains the letters INRI, the first letters of the Latin words Iesus Nazaraenus, Rex Judaeorum, which means “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals crucified next to Jesus recognized Him as the Messiah after everyone else gave up on Him. How easily do we (you and I) give up on Jesus when He doesn’t respond as we expect? We must have the faith to accept Jesus as our own Messiah – Lord and Savior – even when things do not go our way.

(Adapted from Jerome J. Sabatowich, Cycling Through the Gospels – Gospel Commentaries for Cycles A, B, and C, pages 340-341.) 

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, we adore You as our King! We are indeed thankful that You protect us, care for us, and hear us when we call to You. Grant us Your goodness and mercy all the days of our lives. May we dwell with You in Your Kingdom forever! Amen. 

Jakarta, 22 November 2019 

A Christian Pilgrim 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2019 in BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS 2019

 

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