Parish Priest’s Message

ATODAY IS THE SECOND LAST SUNDAY of the Church year. Next Sunday we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. On this Sunday the readings traditionally speak about the end of the world, the end of time, the final coming of Jesus to take all peoples and all creation to himself. For Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega: the source and the end of all things. In the passage immediately before today’s Gospel, Jesus spoke about the fall and destruction of Jerusalem. It was a catastrophic experience for the Jews: even worse than the destruction of Rome and St Peter’s would be for us. Because, for the Jews, Jerusalem and its Temple was the very dwelling place of God. It was not the first time the Temple had been desecrated and the Jews driven out into exile but this destruction has lasted 2,000 years. There is a Muslim mosque now on the site and that is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.
For the early Church it was a very significant event. Even in the letters of Paul, which predated the destruction of the city and Temple, he already speaks of the "new Temple" which are the members of the Body of Christ. Christ was to be found in people and not in a building and that is why the destruction of the Vatican and St Peter’s would not affect the essential nature of the Church. In the early Church, Christians assembled in private homes. Churches, as we know them, only came into existence when, because of the rapid growth of Christianity, homes were too small. Assembly halls had to be used which, in the course of time, were exclusively used for religious worship.
Today Jesus speaks of the appearance of the Son of Man in glory and the final establishment of the Reign of God. Many people will come under that Reign, probably many more than we may expect. Others may reject it forever and choose the outer darkness.
The Son of Man here is understood as Jesus, the man on earth that the disciples knew and loved, but now appearing in all the unparalleled glory of God’s own majesty. Today’s Gospel speaking about the Son of Man "coming in clouds with great power and glory" echoes a passage in the Book of Daniel but here the Son of Man is even more victorious.
His appearance is described in terms usually used in the Old Testament for the appearances of God himself. He sends out angels or messengers and gathers all God’s people together: acts of God in the language of the Old Testament. In the OT prophecies where God manifests his glory in the final days the scattered people are gathered to Jerusalem and to God himself. Here they are gathered to the Son of Man, who commands the angels as if they were his own. Thus we have an affirmation of the central place Jesus, the Son of Man, has in the expectations of the Christians and a reflection of the divine role he is understood to exercise.
As we are going to celebrate Feast of Christ the King next week, may we be able to see in Jesus the savior who walks with us. God Bless!!!!

Fr. Lawrence P.R
  (Parish Priest)