Catholic Mass Readings
November 22 Thursday
33RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
I, John, saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne there was a scroll that was written on back and front and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a powerful angel who called with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ But there was no one, in heaven or on the earth or under the earth, who was able to open the scroll and read it. I wept bitterly because nobody could be found to open the scroll and read it, but one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and so he will open the scroll and its seven seals.’ Then I saw, in the middle of the throne with its four living creatures and the circle of the elders, a Lamb standing.... The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne,... They sang a new hymn: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to break its seals, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought people for God of every race, language, people and nation and made them a line of kings and priests for God, to rule the world.’
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it and sهid, ‘If you too had only recognised on this day the way to peace! But in fact it is hidden from your eyes! Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side; they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you, because you did not recognise the moment of your visitation.’
Jerusalem derives its name from the word “salem” which mean “peace”. The temple in Jerusalem was a constant reminder to the people of God’s presence with them. Jesus wept and lamented for this city because God had sent them the prophets and now his only begotten Son and its inhabitants did not recognize God’s visitation in his Son Jesus. They did not understand God’s word of judgement because of pride and unbelief. Jesus’ entrance was a gracious visitation. Jerusalem’s lack of faith, however, leads to its destruction. Jesus’ lamentation and prophecy echo Jeremiah’s of the first destruction of Jerusalem and its first temple. Jeremiah’s lamentation offered hope of deliverance and restoration (Lm 3:21-22). Jesus’ death and resurrection would bring about a new tempk in the Holy Spirit, the Church as the bride of Christ and the people of God. Where do you recognize God’s presence today?