Rv 14:1-3,4b-5; Ps 24:1b-2,3-4ab,5,6; Lk 21:1-4: In many ways it is desire that dominates our lives, even our spiritual lives. The great saints of our church teach us to be detached from desires and attached to God alone. Only when our needs are our desires are we truly free; when our desires are our needs then we are enslaved to every whim and fancy our hearts can imagine. This whole world belongs to the LORD and so does everyone who dwells upon the face of the earth. Indeed, the LORD founded the earth and its fullness upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. If we desire the LORD, if we long to ascend his holy mountain and stand in his holy place, we must be clean of heart and desire not what is vain. If we long to see the face of the LORD more than we desire anything else or anyone else then we shall receive a blessing from the LORD and a reward from God our savior. If we truly seek him, seek the face of the God of Jacob then we desire what matters in this life and for life eternal. Saint Paul urges us to desire the one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. The Lord Jesus summons us to the wisdom that alone can direct us through all of life, when it is comfortable and when it is troublesome. At this Liturgy we receive the fullness of joy and peace when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity. Can there be a greater fulfillment of our deepest desire?
The fury of God and his angels is directed toward those who oppress his people. The Pharaoh and Egypt are subject ten plagues because they refused to let his people go. The seven angels have seven last plagues to pour out the fullness of divine fury. Indeed not only Israel, but the entire family of Adam and Eve is to be liberated from all oppressors. The Red Sea could not stop the flight of the Hebrew Slaves; it became a passageway to freedom and a flood to defeat their enemies. On another sea of glass and fire the victorious band of witnesses stand to sing. This great crowd of witnesses while holding their harps begin singing the song of Moses and the Israelites: “I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant!” A faithful and new Passover Lamb has been sacrificed and his blood liberates all the nations. Who would not glorify His Name? Who would dare refuse Him honor? He alone is HOLY. We share in his holiness. “How can I keep from singing?”
Poor exiles in service of the king were noticed little until the king spoke with them and discovered the wealth of their wisdom. The Lord Jesus was among the crowd in front of the temple in Jerusalem where offerings were presented for the glory of God and the upkeep of his house. From other preaching of the Lord Jesus we know that often the wealthy members of the temple community would make a grand show of their act of giving. The crowds who admired their larger than life offerings would richly reward them. The Lord Jesus, however, pointed out the ostentation and showiness by pointing out someone small and insignificant. The Lord Jesus saw the beauty and greatness in the poor widow’s tiny offering. While the large donors, who gave only out of their surplus wealth what they could easily afford, distracted everyone, the Lord Jesus saw in the widow’s mite a glimpse of true generosity. Perhaps the Lord Jesus also saw a vision of his future self-gift upon the cross. There at the in front of the new temple of God the crowd would witness his self-sacrifice, his total out-pouring of blood and water. From his place of exile the Lord Jesus gave perfect praise in forgiving even those who condemned him to the exile of the cross.