Showing posts from November, 2014

The First Sunday of Advent, 30 November 2014

The First Sunday of Advent, 30 November 2014 Isaiah 64:1-9 Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18 I Corinthians 1:3-9 St. Mark 13:24-37 Background: Apocalyptic This literature emerged, quite understandably, during the period of forced Hellenization in the first two centuries prior to the Common Era. It’s stress on dualism and the battle between good and evil is found in both Jewish and in Christian sources. Some notable examples are chapters 7 through 12 of Daniel , the books that come out of the Essene community, and the “Little Apocalypse” found in St. Matthew, chapters 24-25 . What bind these expressions together are a pessimistic view of the present time, and the foretelling of imminent disaster.   Unlike the prophets, who described similar conditions, these circumstances, described in apocalyptic literature, are followed by a coming period of judgment and resolution. The Book of Revelation offers a fine example of these qualities. The compl

Christ the King, the Last Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 29, 23 November 2014

Christ the King, the Last Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 29, 23 November 2014 Ezekiel 34:11016, 20-14 Psalm 100 or 95:1-7a Ephesians 1:15-23 St. Matthew 25:31-46 Background: The Feast of Christ the King With the revisions in the calendars of the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches in the late 70s, this feast day was added as a celebration on the last Sunday of the Church year.   In the Roman Church it was first introduced as an idea in an encyclical, Quas Primas, by Pope Pius XI (1925) and was celebrated as The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe on the last Sunday in October.   In 1970 (Pope Paul VI) the feast was moved to the last Sunday in Ordinary time, the Sunday preceding the Season of Advent. The original encyclical that served as the theological basis for the feast day was not an argument based on liturgy, but rather on politics.   Pope Pius XI hoped the encyclical would be an adequate response to the growing secularism and nationalism