Remember The Party
(Same Day) Thirty-Fourth Week of Year II Thursday November 24
The Responsorial Psalm echoes the words we hear at Communion: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9).
Revelation 18:1 to 19:9 contrasts the hope of the faithful with the hopes of the faithless. The people “of this world” hope for wealth and power. The angel could be speaking of the United States (among other countries) when he says, “for your merchants were the magnates of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.”
For “your sorcery” read, “your technology, your economic success, your military might,” whatever impresses other countries aside from what should impress them, like our respect for freedom and human rights. People imitate all the wrong things in America. To tourists in Europe our most visible export seems to be blue jeans!
The point of the reading is that God will bring low the nation that trusts in its empty power. Believers look and long for the realization of one thing: the “wedding banquet of the Lamb.” This is what we ask for in the Our Father: the words “daily bread” really mean Jesus, the Bread of the heavenly banquet. There all will be celebrating in the “peace and unity of his kingdom,” in total reconciliation with God and each other (“Forgive us… as we forgive).
The “punch line” of the Rite of Communion at Mass is the proclamation that accompanies the “third elevation,” when the presider presents the host for the third time, saying. “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (“Called to his supper” is a mistranslation). What these words really say is, “Blessed are those who are going to die!” We fear nothing. Those who kill us are simply ushering us into the party! “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
In Luke 21:20-28 Jesus says the same thing as the first reading. Using the impending destruction of Jerusalem as an example and preview, he foretells persecution by the powerful in this world and their inevitable destruction: “People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” But everyone who “conquers and continues to do my works to the end” will “see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory.” The conclusion we should draw…?
Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
This is a call to faithful stewardship.