Sunday Readings 25/11/12


The Sunday Scriptures

In John’s Gospel, in direct contrast to Mark, Jesus is portrayed as in control of his destiny, no more so than in the discourse with Pilate. In a masterful dialogue with the apparent authority and power of Rome, Jesus proclaims his kingship to be not of this world but to be one of witnessing to the truth (John 18:33-37). The apocalyptic visions of Daniel begin with that which confers all authority on the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14). Common in apocalyptic literature is an intermediary who leads all to God and who receives ultimate authority. It is a massive proclamation that the kingdoms of this world are temporary – only the sovereignty of God is eternal. At the beginning of the Apocalypse, before the Letters to the Seven Churches, John’s vision is of the central character  – the Risen Lord, the king of kings, the fulfilment of the apocalypse (Apocalypse 1:5-8).

Gaudium et Spes Part I: Chapter 4 Conclusion Christ the Alpha and Omega (45) [45]

Chapter 4 of Part I ends with a reflection on Christ, the Alpha and Omega. ‘Whether it aids the world or whether it benefits from it, the Church has one sole purpose – that the kingdom of God may come and the salvation of the human race be accomplished…The Word of God, through whom all things were made, was made flesh, so as a perfect man he could save all and sum up all things in himself. The Lord in the goal of human history, the focal point of the desires of history and civilization, the centre of mankind, the joy of all hearts and the fulfilment of all aspirations.’ (45)


The specific portrayal of Jesus in the Gospel of John comes to a climax in the Passion Narratives. It is Jesus, not Pilate or the Roman Empire, that is shown to be in real control. Thus Gaudium et Spes reminds us and the world that in the end it is not civilizations or human history that is in ultimate control of our destiny, but Christ, the Alpha and the Omega.

Points for reflection

  1. How do we deepen our witness to the truth?
  2. In what ways do we focus on Christ the Alpha and the Omega?
  3. How do we show more clearly the whole purpose of the Church?

Canon Mervyn Tower

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