Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Rv 15:1-4; Ps 98:1-9; Lk 21:12-19

:   The LORD is worthy of a new song.  His wondrous deeds and the victory of his holy arm inspire a song of praise never before heard.  This new song comes from hearts that are made new with the overwhelming joy of salvation.  In the sight of all the nations, he has revealed his justice; while everyone is looking on, he has displayed his love.  From Adam and Eve to Abraham and his grandson Israel the LORD has remembered his covenant. Indeed, the LORD never forgets his promise; he only forgets our offenses against his will and purpose.  When we ask for his forgiveness, he forgives and forgets.  When he forgets, that thing ceases to exist.  Even those in hell the LORD remembers, and this is the fire that burns forever.  Those who have condemned themselves to eternal hell know they are are remembered. They also know that they have chosen to be separated from this love and to live forever alone, all alone with only the memory of who they could have loved and did not.  In the sight of the nations all the sea creatures sing, the rivers clap their hands, and the mountains shout with them for joy.  All creatures of our God and King unite their voices, and thunderous praises cover the cosmos.  Saint John overhears the great heavenly chorus singing both the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb.  The Lord Jesus warns us not to prepare our song of testimony; only when we are caught up in the moment of defense will we be able to sing and testify to the glory of God upon the Cross of Christ.

The fury of God and his angels are 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?”

We will be hated all because of our name, “little Christ” or as we say in English, “Christian”.  We will be handed over and turned in by everyone we thought loved us. Some of us will be executed, but none of us will be lost.  Indeed, only by perseverance will we secure our lives.  The Name of the Lord Jesus still evokes anger and resentment.  Many condemn faithful believers as a danger to society.  They find us intolerant of sin and biased in favor of virtue.  Such attitudes and behaviors wreak havoc among the politically correct.  We cannot be faithful witnesses to Christ and his Kingdom without encountering hostility and persecution.  Sooner or later some authority will demand an explanation.  We will not get through life without having to defend ourselves, but our testimony will be weak and unconvincing unless it comes from the Word of God and we proclaim it by the Breath of God.  This great witness will flow gently and powerfully from a heart that has been filled with the Word in prayer and emptied of self by the fire of the Holy Spirit.  Indeed we dare not prepare our defense in advance, so that we will be open and ready to receive wisdom that all our adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.