FRIDAY OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Daniel 7:2-14


I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then, as I watched, its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a human being; and a human mind was given to it. Another beast appeared, a second one, that looked like a bear. It was raised up on one side, had three tusks in its mouth among its teeth and was told, “Arise, devour many bodies!” After this, as I watched, another appeared, like a leopard. The beast had four wings of a bird on its back and four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the visions by night a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth and was devouring, breaking in pieces, and stamping what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that preceded it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, when another horn appeared, a little one coming up among them; to make room for it, three of the earlier horns were plucked up by the roots. There were eyes like human eyes in this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly.


As I watched,

thrones were set in place,

and an Ancient One took his throne,

his clothing was white as snow,

and the hair of his head like pure wool;

his throne was fiery flames,

and its wheels were burning fire.

A stream of fire issued

and flowed out from his presence.

A thousand thousands served him,

and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.

The court sat in judgment,

and the books were opened.

I watched then because of the noise of the arrogant words that the horn was speaking. And as I watched, the beast was put to death, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. As I watched in the night visions,


I saw one like a human being

coming with the clouds of heaven.

And he came to the Ancient One

and was presented before him.

To him was given dominion

and glory and kingship,

that all peoples, nations, and languages

should serve him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

that shall not pass away,

and his kingship is one

that shall never be destroyed.

Daniel 3: 75-81


Bless the Lord, mountains and hills;

sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Bless the Lord, all that grows in the ground;

sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Bless the Lord, you springs;

sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Bless the Lord, seas and rivers;

sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Bless the Lord, you whales and all that swim in the waters;

sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Bless the Lord, all birds of the air;

sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Bless the Lord, all wild animals and cattle;

sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.



Luke 21:29-33


Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

(NRSVCE)

Meditation

Today’s scriptures call us to observe and discern the times around us. The vision the Lord released to Daniel laid out ways that the enemy would rise up and trouble the world, but still, the Lord would reign. The Lord revealed to Daniel that while the enemy could wreak havoc, he would still be on a leash. His reign of terror was only for a time, because the Lord had already defeated Him and would draw the earth back to Himself.


We can wonder why the Lord allows evil to touch his creation but we know that the Lord doesn’t hide the reality of evil. The Lord allows us to see evil for what it is; the pathway to death. Jesus' death on the cross gave us the undeniable visual of the impact of sin. He allowed us to see where our choices could lead us. Knowing this, we know what to turn from and we have opportunities to repent.

The ability to discern evil is a grace from God. Through it we strengthen our resolve to live for God and shed light on the works of darkness. While we know that evil exists in the world, it is incumbent on us to judge our own actions according to God’s word and commands, humbly, so we may repent of our sins and prepare ourselves to receive God’s love and forgiveness.

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