Posted by: livingscripture | November 29, 2013

Last Friday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like the son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven.”

                                                                                                Daniel 7: 13


How should we live this Word Tissot-Signature-cropped-428[1]

After having accompanied us during this last week of the Liturgical Year, the concluding message of the Book of Daniel leaves us with a true and proper prophetic vision that is connected to the famous pages of Ezekiel, using similar expression and overtly apocalyptic language.  The author speaks of the Son of Man who will later become in the New Testament, a Christological title.

Already before Christ, this way of speaking was immediately connected to the Messiah, the Awaited One of the Promise, closer to Heaven than to earth.

This chapter can be placed in continuity with the chapter of the same book that recounts the dream of Nebuchadnezzar of the statue made in four pieces.  It may well correspond to the four beasts of this passage and the most terrible one of the statue that tragically ends before the others.  This corresponds to those with clay feet that leave room for the new.  Here the new enters at the noble assembly around the Ancient One who introduces the Son of Man, He who receives dominion, glory, and kingship!

The apocalyptic visions usually locate in an indecipherable time, contemporary events which are perhaps dramatic and difficult to understand.  In the contrast between real and virtual, they allow hope to take on physical form and to reanimate those who are listening to it or reading it.  They suggest a vision that breaks through reality and manifests a potential vitality.  However, the exaggerated tones in which apocalyptic literature expresses itself must not bring about frenzy or agitation.  They must awaken us, inviting us to avoid distraction, but rather lead us to true discernment in order to receive the salvation that is coming in every moment.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will read this passage in the light of Christ, of His words, and of His promises.

Lord, at the threshold of Advent grant me the grace of vigilance that is joyful, rich in hope, and capable of interpreting the signs of the time with loving eyes. 

The voice of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Contemporary Prophet 

Only when we love life and earth to the point that with their end all is lost, can we believe in the resurrection of the dead and a new world.


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