HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR II.
THEME: MY WORDS WILL NOT PASS AWAY!
BY: Benedict Agbo (Rev Fr)
* Rev 20: 1 – 21: 2, Lk 21: 29 – 33.
*The words of Jesus will never pass away. They remain eternally relevant, instructive and judgemental.* The glorious image of the new heavens and the new earth (presented in today’s 1st reading) as the final point of triumph for the children of God is confirmed by Christ’s statements in today’s gospel. This hope of our final destiny sustains us through the pains and persecutions of life on earth. As the fig tree, during the dry season gives us hope of new life coming soon during the rainy season, so does the Word of God inform us about the imminence of God’s kingdom. Atheists like the French philosopher Voltaire derided the Bible as a short – lived book that will pass from common use within a hundred years. Twenty years after his death, the Bible society of France bought his house and has turned it into a warehouse for storing bibles but how many of Voltaire’s books still find any relevance today. Heaven and earth will pass away but not an iota of his words will pass away. Even his predictions about the destruction of Jerusalem temple all came to pass before his generation passed.
However, the Word of God we find in the book of revelation as today’s 1st reading showcases are not such for literal interpretations. For example, the 1000 years of the reign of Christ after the chaining of Satan are only visionary imageries. There is also the frightening imagery of those thrown into the lake of fire – those whose names are not found in the book of life. These signs of the last days remain delicate items of revelation that are subjective and symbolical. The most important message is the revelation about the operations and dominion of satanic kingdoms at a given time in world history and the final glorious triumph of the children of God at the end of time. *It is neither expedient to take a pedantic view about eschatological revelations nor a fanatical and literally outlook.* Christ however insists that heaven and earth will pass away but his words will not pass away. May God bless you today!
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