33rd Week, Thursday, Nov 19

Apocalypse 5:1-10 / Luke 19:41-44

 I saw the Lamb: By his death he bought us.

It was April 1865. The slain body of Abraham Lincoln lay in state for a few brief hours in Cleveland, Ohio, on its final journey to Springfield, Illinois. A poor black woman held her child up to see the 56-year-old president's face. As she did, she said slowly and reverently,

"Take a long, long look, honey. That man died for you." What that poor black woman said to her child could be said to all of us about Jesus. "Take a long, long look, honey. That man died for you." Unfortunately, after a while, we tend to take for granted the basic truths of our faith. And one of them is that Jesus purchased us with his own blood.

How frequently do we meditate on the crucifixion of Jesus? "Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my lord?" Negro spiritual.****

Usually in apocalyptic literature the opening of seals announces the coming of calamities. Here it is the key to the victory and peace that will come to God’s people through the Lamb, who died and rose again and, in this way, overcame death.****

In the year 70 AD, the city of Jerusalem was captured after a long siege and destroyed by the Roman army, and the Temple which took 46 years to build was razed to the ground. Needless to say, the revolting Jews were slaughtered and the rest of the survivors were deported. It was certainly a great tragedy for the Chosen People of God. Yet it was not the first time that it had happened. Back in the 586 BC, the city was captured by the Babylonians and the grand Temple of Solomon was razed to the ground and the inhabitants were deported to Babylon. We can't help asking "What was wrong? Why must this happen to the People of God?" The key to that question lies in what Jesus said today - if only the message of peace is understood. Yet it seemed to be hidden from the eyes of the people and Jesus even shed tears over this. 

But the symbols given in the 1st reading are certainly not hidden from our eyes - the 7 horns symbolize the fullness of power; the 7 eyes symbolize knowledge and wisdom and the four prostrating animals represent the cherubim, the spectacular angelic beings who surround the throne of God. Yet the most prominent figure is the Lamb that was slain, the Lamb that was worthy to take the scroll and break the seals, because the Lamb was sacrificed and by its blood bought men for God. There is no doubt that the Lamb is Jesus who was crucified and by His precious blood He has saved us. So, the message of salvation is given to us and it is a message that is brought to us by the blood of Jesus on the cross. 

Let us heed this message of salvation. The alternative will be the tears of destruction and it will cost us our blood.


Luke wrote his gospel when the Temple had already been destroyed. How come that the Jewish people, God’s own, who had been so zealous to fight for loyalty to the God of the covenant, did not recognize Christ, the expected one? It is not up to us to condemn, as Christians have often done in the past. With Jesus we weep over the city and its people and pray and work that Jews too may find their Messiah. And in the meantime, let us too know the paths of peace of God’s people, and recognize the time the Lord visits us.

 Let us Pray:

Lord our God, we seek the road to peace of Jesus Christ your Son. Let us be your chosen people

recognizing day after day the time of your visitation. Let this very day be the time when we are open to your coming in the words you speak to us, in the people we meet, in those who cry out for compassion and a bit of warmth. We ask you this in the name of Jesus the Lord.