34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
His kingship shall not be destroyed.
The Book of Genesis tells us that in the very first act of creation, God brought order out of chaos. He spoke into a dark and formless void and established a world of light, order, and beauty for his creatures. The rest of Scripture describes how the forces of evil keep trying to tear apart that order, while God sustains his people. At times, when life is especially chaotic, it can seem as if evil has won.
The Book of Daniel was written during such a time. Israel lived under the rule of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164 BC), who tried to force the Jews to abandon their faith and adopt Greek practices and beliefs. Those who refused were put to death. But the stories in Daniel reminded Israel that people of faith can overcome evil. No matter how hard the devil tries to disrupt God’s beautiful plan, God remains in charge. He is always able to bring good out of evil and order out of chaos.
Today’s first reading speaks of this authority of God. Although Daniel describes how destruction and evil seem to be in control, he also describes a heavenly court being convened. A “son of man” appears who is given authority over all creation (Daniel 7:13). Looking back with hindsight, we can see that Jesus fulfills this vision. Whatever troubles or chaos arise, all dominion will ultimately be given to Jesus, the “Son of Man” (Matthew 26:64). He will triumph and reign forever.
Daniel’s vision can bring us great comfort. We see disorder, chaos, and dysfunction all around us. People who do good suffer, while those who seek power, wealth, or fame seem to prosper. We may ask, Where is God? Are we all lost, adrift in a sea of selfishness and injustice? Not at all!
You are not lost to God. He sees through all the confusion; he sees you, his beloved child. And he promises that eventually all the books will be opened and his reign will never end (Daniel 7:10, 14). Jesus, King of kings, cares for you. The One who alone has everlasting dominion loves you with a love stronger than death. Nothing can separate you from that love!
“Jesus, you are Lord! You will reign forever and ever!”
(Psalm) Daniel 3:75-81