Saturday 21 November 2020
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Apocalypse 11:4-12. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock! – Psalm 143(144):1-2, 9-10. Luke 20:27-40.
The Lord is my fortress
Our daily lives can seem full of banality, of trivia. Today’s readings imagine fearful extremities, and call for an heroic faith. The Book of the Apocalypse responds to persecution already happening – Christians faced imminent death for their belief in One True God. The author promises divine retribution to anyone harming witnesses to Christian faith: ‘fire . . . consumes their foes’. Even the ‘beast’ of persecution cannot conquer the believers; God has for them ‘the breath of life’ even after death. In Luke, Sadducees challenge Jesus with an extremity: seven dead husbands to one (remarkably resilient) widow – whose wife is she at the resurrection? Jesus counters their cynicism, igniting a vision of immortal transformation, new life beyond familiar appetites and urges – beyond the imagination of the cynic. The psalm today stirringly reminds us our Lord is ‘my rock, fortress, shield’ as David faces the extremity of war. Lord, answer our fears with your divine exhilaration.
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