MARANA THA—COME, LORD JESUS!
The book of Revelation gives us today an optimistic vision of the future: the river of life leads to the tree of life. It is God and the Lamb of God that give us a wonderfully fertile and lasting life.
Still, the Gospel warns us. We may not choose the easy way of indifference or evil. We shall have to give an account to the Son of Man. We have to be watchful, so that we can stand before him with confidence. But our hope is great. We are a people of hope.
Our saving God, long ago you sent your Son Jesus among us, but we have been too little aware of his presence and we hide him from others. Wake us up, make us recognize him, that he may be the light of our lives and that we may eagerly lead people to him. May he build up among us and with us a world and a kingdom of peace and love where we serve you in one another, as we move forward in hope to your home of endless joy and rest. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
1 Reading: Revelation 22:1-7
John said: An angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the street, On either side of the river grew the tree of life that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations. Nothing accursed will be found anymore. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever and ever. And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits, sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.” “Behold, I am coming soon.” Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.
Responsorial Psalm PS 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB
R. (1 Cor 16: 22b, cf. Rev. 22: 20c) Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us joyfully sing psalms to him. R.
For the LORD is a great God, and a great king above all gods; In his hands are the depths of the earth, and the tops of the mountains are his. His is the sea, for he has made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed. R.
Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us. For he is our God, and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. R.
Alleluia Luke 21:36
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Luke 21:34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.
The final picture of the heavenly city continues the story of God’s generosity. The life-giving water issues from the throne of God and the Lamb; the tree of life produces fruit every month of the year. No semblance of evil will be found there. All of its citizens will worship God and the Lamb; the name of the Lamb will be inscribed on their foreheads. There will be no night nor any need for light from the sun or a lamp; God alone will be their light. The promise of the Lord is that he will come.
Yet all time is in the hands of the Lord. The message of today’s Gospel envisions our being caught up in the events of daily life. There is the danger of carelessness, partying, and anxiety. The only antidote is vigilance and prayer.
Many people have difficulty with reflections on the end of time. They wonder what it means to them, when it is their own mortality they deal with all the time. There is no problem in moving the end-time into a personal framework. The basic message remains always the same. “Christ will come again.” It is a message that calls all of us to vigilance. And we can say in confidence: Marana tha—Come, Lord Jesus!
– That leaders, prophets, witnesses of the faith and all others whose task it is to stir our hope in a better world may be guided by the Holy Spirit of hope, we pray:
– That we may revive the faith and trust of people without courage and hope by building a fairer and more merciful world with them, we pray:
– That in this community we may inspire one another by our living faith and indestructible hope, and that by our love and service the Lord may live among us, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God of our future, we pray at this altar
for the coming among us of your Son Jesus Christ in the signs of bread and wine. Inspire us by the power of his Spirit and sustain us in hope, that we may fully commit ourselves to build up among people a city that is human, peaceful, just and fraternal as an offering that pleases you, our God and Father. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen!
Prayer after Communion
God our Father, it was good to be here with your Son and to receive from him the bread of hope. Help us in our clumsy attempts to bring to our cold world the warmth of his love and friendship, of his compassion and his integrity, that people may see the day
when they can recognize among us your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
Where is God’s kingdom among us? Can people see that Christ is here among us, in our homes and communities? We hope in the Lord, but he is also hoping in us. Let the Lord come and activate us, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!