Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 29-September-2022
Universalis/Jerusalem Bible ^

Posted on 09/29/2022 4:10:22 AM PDT by annalex

Thursday 29 September 2022

Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

Saint Michael Catholic Church - Tybee Island, GA

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: White. Year: C(II).

First reading
Daniel 7:9-10,13-14 ©

His robe was white as snow

As I watched:
Thrones were set in place
and one of great age took his seat.
His robe was white as snow,
the hair of his head as pure as wool.
His throne was a blaze of flames,
its wheels were a burning fire.
A stream of fire poured out,
issuing from his presence.
A thousand thousand waited on him,
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
A court was held
and the books were opened.
I gazed into the visions of the night.
And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,
one like a son of man.
He came to the one of great age
and was led into his presence.
On him was conferred sovereignty,
glory and kingship,
and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty
which shall never pass away,
nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 137(138):1-5 ©
In the presence of the angels I will bless you, O Lord.
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart:
  you have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I will bless you.
  I will adore before your holy temple.
In the presence of the angels I will bless you, O Lord.
I thank you for your faithfulness and love,
  which excel all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered;
  you increased the strength of my soul.
In the presence of the angels I will bless you, O Lord.
All earth’s kings shall thank you
  when they hear the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the Lord’s ways:
  ‘How great is the glory of the Lord!’
In the presence of the angels I will bless you, O Lord.

Gospel AcclamationPs102:21
Alleluia, alleluia!
Give thanks to the Lord, all his hosts,
his servants who do his will.

GospelJohn 1:47-51 ©

You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’

The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.

You can also view this page with the Gospel in Greek and English.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; jn1; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 09/29/2022 4:10:22 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: All

KEYWORDS: catholic; jn1; ordinarytime; prayer;

2 posted on 09/29/2022 4:10:46 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.

3 posted on 09/29/2022 4:11:28 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Jim still needs our prayers. Thread 2
Prayer thread for Salvation's recovery
Pray for Ukraine
4 posted on 09/29/2022 4:11:51 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: annalex
 English: Douay-RheimsLatin: Vulgata ClementinaGreek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
 John 1
47Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him: and he saith of him: Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile. Vidit Jesus Nathanaël venientem ad se, et dicit de eo : Ecce vere Israëlita, in quo dolus non est.ειδεν ο ιησους τον ναθαναηλ ερχομενον προς αυτον και λεγει περι αυτου ιδε αληθως ισραηλιτης εν ω δολος ουκ εστιν
48Nathanael saith to him: Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered, and said to him: Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Dicit ei Nathanaël : Unde me nosti ? Respondit Jesus, et dixit ei : Priusquam te Philippus vocavit, cum esses sub ficu, vidi te.λεγει αυτω ναθαναηλ ποθεν με γινωσκεις απεκριθη ιησους και ειπεν αυτω προ του σε φιλιππον φωνησαι οντα υπο την συκην ειδον σε
49Nathanael answered him, and said: Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel. Respondit ei Nathanaël, et ait : Rabbi, tu es Filius Dei, tu es rex Israël.απεκριθη ναθαναηλ και λεγει αυτω ραββι συ ει ο υιος του θεου συ ει ο βασιλευς του ισραηλ
50Jesus answered, and said to him: Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, thou believest: greater things than these shalt thou see. Respondit Jesus, et dixit ei : Quia dixi tibi : Vidi te sub ficu, credis ; majus his videbis.απεκριθη ιησους και ειπεν αυτω οτι ειπον σοι ειδον σε υποκατω της συκης πιστευεις μειζω τουτων οψει
51And he saith to him: Amen, amen I say to you, you shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. Et dicit ei : Amen, amen dico vobis, videbitis cælum apertum, et angelos Dei ascendentes, et descendentes supra Filium hominis.και λεγει αυτω αμην αμην λεγω υμιν απ αρτι οψεσθε τον ουρανον ανεωγοτα και τους αγγελους του θεου αναβαινοντας και καταβαινοντας επι τον υιον του ανθρωπου

5 posted on 09/29/2022 4:20:02 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Catena Aurea by St. Thomas Aguinas


47. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48. Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

49. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

50. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

51. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xix) Nathanael, in difficulty as to Christ coming out of Nazareth, shewed the care with which he had read the Scriptures: his not rejecting the tidings when brought him, shewed his strong desire for Christ’s coming. He thought that Philip might be mistaken as to the place. It follows, Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! There was no fault to be found with him, though he had spoken like one who did not believe, because he was more deeply read in the Prophets than Philip. He calls him guileless, because he had said nothing to gain favour, or gratify malice.

AUGUSTINE. (Tr. vii. c. 19) What meaneth this, In whom is no guile? Had he no sin? Was no physician necessary for him? Far from it. No one was ever born, of a temper not to need the Physician. It is guile, when we say one thing, and think another. How then was there no guile in him? Because, if he was a sinner, he confessed his sin; whereas if a man, being a sinner, pretends to be righteous, there is guile in his mouth. Our Lord then commended the confession of sin in Nathanael; He did not pronounce him not a sinner.

THEOPHYLACT. Nathanael however, notwithstanding this praise, does not acquiesce immediately, but waits for further evidence, and asks, Whence knowest Thou me?

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xx) He asks as man, Jesus answers as God: Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee: not having beheld him as man, but as God discerning him from above. I saw thee, He says, that is, the character of thy life, when thou wast under the fig tree: where the two, Philip and Nathanael, had been talking together alone, nobody seeing them; and on this account it is said, that on seeing him a long way off, He said, Behold an Israelite indeed; whence it appears that this speech was before Philip came near, so that no suspicion could attach to Christ’s testimony. Christ would not say, I am not of Nazareth, as Philip told you, but of Bethlehem; in order to avoid an argument: (ἀμφισβητήσιμον λόγον.) and because it would not have been sufficient proof, had He mentioned it, of His being the Christ. He preferred rather proving this by His having been present at their conversation.

AUGUSTINE. (Tr. vii. c. 21) Has this fig tree any meaning? We read of one fig tree which was cursed, because it had only leaves, and no fruit. Again, at the creation, Adam and Eve, after sinning, made themselves aprons of fig leaves. Fig leaves then signify sins; and Nathanael, when he was under the fig tree, was under the shadow of death: so that our Lord seemeth to say, O Israel, whoever of you is without guile, O people of the Jewish faith, before that I called thee by My Apostles, when thou wert as yet under the shadow of death, and sawest Me not, I saw thee.

GREGORY. (xviii. Mor. c. xxxviii. [59.]) When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee; i. e. when thou wast yet under the shade of the law, I chose thee.

AUGUSTINE. (Serm. 40. [122.]) Nathanael remembered that he had been under the fig tree, where Christ was not present corporeally, but only by His spiritual knowledge. Hence, knowing that he had been alone, he recognised our Lord’s Divinity.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xx) That our Lord then had this knowledge, had penetrated into his mind, had not blamed but praised his hesitation, proved to Nathanael that He was the true Christ: Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel: as if he said, Thou art He who was expected, thou art He who was sought for. Sure proof being obtained, he proceeds to make confession; herein shewing his devotion, as his former hesitation had shewn his diligence.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xxi. [al. xx.] 1) Many when they read this passage, are perplexed at finding that, whereas Peter was pronounced blessed for having, after our Lord’s miracles and teaching, confessed Him to be the Son of God, Nathanael, who makes the same confession before, has no such benediction. The reason is this. Peter and Nathanael both used the same words, but not in the same meaning. Peter confessed our Lord to be the Son of God, in the sense of very God; the latter in the sense of mere man; for after saying, Thou art the Son of God, he adds, Thou art the King of Israel; whereas the Son of God was not the King of Israel only, but of the whole world. This is manifest from what follows. For in the case of Peter Christ added nothing, but, as if his faith were perfect, said, that he would build the Church upon his confession; whereas Nathanael, as if his confession were very deficient, is led up to higher things: Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. As if He said, What I have just said has appeared a great matter to thee, and thou hast confessed Me to be King of Israel; what wilt thou say when thou seest greater things than these? What that greater thing is He proceeds to shew: And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. See how He raises him from earth for a while, and forces him to think that Christ is not a mere man: for how could He be a mere man, whom angels ministered to? It was, as it were, saying, that He was Lord of the Angels; for He must be the King’s own Son, on whom the servants of the King descended and ascended; descended at His crucifixion, ascended at His resurrection and ascension. Angels too before this came and ministered unto Him, and angels brought the glad tidings of His birth. Our Lord made the present a proof of the future. After the powers He had already shewn, Nathanael would readily believe that much more would follow.

AUGUSTINE. (in Verb. Dom.) Let us recollect the Old Testament account. Jacob saw in a dream a ladder reaching from earth to heaven; the Lord resting upon it, and the angels ascending and descending upon it. Lastly, Jacob himself understanding what the vision meant, set up a stone, and poured oil upon it. (Gen. 28:12.) When he anointed the stone, did he make an idol? No: he only set up a symbol, not an object of worship. Thou seest here the anointing; see the Anointed also. He is the stone which the builders refused. If Jacob, who was named Israel, saw the ladder, and Nathanael was an Israelite indeed, there was a fitness in our Lord telling him Jacob’s dream; as if he said, Whose name thou art called by, his dream hath appeared unto thee: for thou shalt see the heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. If they descend upon Him, and ascend to Him, then He is both up above and here below at the same time; above in Himself, below in His members.

AUGUSTINE. (Tr. vii. in Joan. c. 23) Good preachers, however, who preach Christ, are as angels of God; i. e. they ascend and descend upon the Son of man; as Paul, who ascended to the third heaven, and descended so far even as to give milk to babes. He saith, We shall see greater things than these: (2 Cor. 12:2. 1 Cor. 3:2) because it is a greater thing that our Lord has justified us, whom He hath called, than that He saw us lying under the shadow of death. For had we remained where He saw us, what profit would it have been? (c. 17.). It is asked why Nathanael, to whom our Lord bears such testimony, is not found among the twelve Apostles. We may believe, however, that it was because he was so learned, and versed in the law, that our Lord had not put him among the disciples. He chose the foolish, to confound the world. Intending to break the neck of the proud, He sought not to gain the fisherman through the orator, but by the fisherman the emperor. The great Cyprian was an orator; but Peter was a fisherman before him; and through him not only the orator, but the emperor, believed.

Catena Aurea John 1

6 posted on 09/29/2022 4:20:31 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Jacob's Ladder

Avignon, Musee du Petit Palais

7 posted on 09/29/2022 4:20:56 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Archangels: who are they and what is their function?

The Catholic Church recognises the existence of only three Archangels, or the three mentioned in the Scriptures: Michael (“Who is like God?”), Gabriel (“God’s Power”) and Raphael (“God’s Doctor”).

This clarification is needed, because one could object that in the texts of the past, other archangels have been mentioned, the same as the number of sects in the Book of Enoch: Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Phanuel and Gabriel. The system of seven archangels is in fact an ancient tradition of Judaic origin.

The Catholic Church, however, considered it necessary to stop such arbitrary and fanciful interpretations of texts that did not belong to the canonical Holy Scriptures. In fact, we remind you that all individual traditions must be examined and verified in accordance with what is stated in the Holy Canonical Scripture, which is the only true revelation.

Therefore, with regard to the Archangels, it was established in the Middle Ages that the worship and veneration of any of the other archangels mentioned by the Bible apart from Michele, Gabriele and Raphael was forbidden.  Even in the past, in the early Church, great efforts were made to prevent the cult of angels, which was influenced by heterodox practices and the pagan traditions of divine messengers, from leading to a form of idolatry.

In 1992, the decree Litteris Diei stated that “it is forbidden to teach and use notions about angels and archangels, their personal names and their particular functions, outside of what is directly reflected in the Holy Scriptures; consequently, every form of consecration to the angels, and any practices other than the official customs of worship are forbidden.”

Given this, who and what are the Archangels?

The existence of angels is a truth of the faith. Their presence in the Bible is incontrovertible testimony to this. These are incorporeal beings, who are spiritualperfect, created by God at the dawn of time for the purpose of being his servants and messengers. They have always and forever contemplated the face of God, are ready to rush to his every command, as attentive listeners and executors of His Word.

They are therefore spirits that exist for Him and in Him, who are, however, also close to humans, through the faithfulness between the will of the Most High and his creatures.

Angels therefore live in the contemplation of God and act as His messengers.

And the Archangels?

Since ancient times, we have considered the fact that the angelic hosts are organised into a sort of Heavenly Court, in which the angels have different ranks and graces. The three Archangels occupy the highest domains of this angelic hierarchy. They too have tasks similar to those of the common angels, but their duties are even higher and more important. They are the task of contemplating God, day and night, glorifying Him incessantly by preserving and protecting His mystery. Their own names suggest their roles and their nature: all end with “El”, which signifies “God”.

The Sacred Scripture then, attributes a particular mission to each Archangel.

Michael is the warrior who fights against Satan and his emissaries (Jn 9, Ap 12, 7, cf. Zec 13: 1-2), the defender of those who love God (Dn 10, 13.21), the protector of the people of God (Dn. 12, 1).

Gabriel is one of the spirits closest to God, before his heavenly throne (Lk 1, 19), the one who revealed to Daniel the secrets of God’s plan (Dn 8, 16; 9, 21-22), announced to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist (Lk 1, 11-20) and to Mary that of Jesus (Lk 1, 26-38).

Raphael stands before the throne of God (Tb 12, 15, see Rev 8: 2), accompanied and protects Tobias in his perilous journey and healed his father from blindness and his future bride from the influence of evil.

In general, therefore, the task of the three Archangels, in addition to contemplation of God, is to communicate His Will to man in various ways, to be an inspiration for human beings, and the catalysts of divine grace for them.

Saint Michael

Saint Michael
Saint Michael

Saint Michael appears in the Holy Scriptures, in particular in the Book of Daniel, in the Letters of the Apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus and in the Apocalypse.

His name derives from the Hebrew Mi-ka-El which means “who is like God?”saint michael statue in coloured wood pulp

Buy on Holyart
Saint Michael Statue in Coloured Wood Pulp

Popular iconography represents him as a warrior in armour wielding a sword, or intending to slay a dragon that symbolises the Devil, with a spear. In fact, this is the role played by Michael, that of the fighter fighting against rebel angels who are led by Lucifer. It was Michael who led the heavenly hosts in the war leading to the expulsion of rebellious angels from Paradise, and since then, he has continued to stand up as God’s defender against Evil and its deceits. The theatre for this new battle is no longer heaven, forbidden to Satan, but the souls of we humans, constantly targeted by the flattery of Evil, and instigated at every moment to rebel against God. The Devil tries to convince men that God is a tyrant, who limits their freedom and their own full realisation in the creation. The Archangel Michael is sent from heaven to protect men and guide them, to teach them to distinguish good from evil and truth from falsehood.

In the Apocalypse, where he revealed himself to John, he is described as a majestic being, vested with the task of examining the souls destined for the Last Judgment.

The Judger of souls, therefore, and protector, defender of the Church, and of the people of God.

It is no coincidence that Castel S. Angelo, the fortress where the Pope takes refuge when in danger, is watched over by his statue, and travellers and pilgrims invoke his name and his protection against the hazards of the journey.

Some studies have sought to see in Archangel Michael, the influence of ancient myths linked to the legendary figure of a god-hero killer of monsters, like the Babylonian god Marduk, or of pagan gods who were engaged to act as mediators between heaven and earth, like the Greek god Hermes. The same festival dedicated to the Archangel, on 29 September, falls on this day as a legacy of the celebrations of the Autumn Equinox, a consecrated feast in Mithras, of a divinity linked to the Sun by the Persians and then the Romans.

His cult, within the Catholic Church, started in the East, but spread rapidly throughout Europe, especially following his appearance on the Gargano, in Puglia, when the Archangel appeared in San Lorenzo Maiorano in a cave that centuries later became a pilgrimage for popes, sovereigns and future saints. Near the cave rose the Basilica Sanctuary, which still today remains one of the most important and magnificent places of worship among those dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

In 2013, Pope Francis consecrated the Vatican City State to St. Joseph and St. Michael the Archangel, recognising once again his role as defender of the Faith and of the Church.

The Archangel Michael, the ‘celestial warrior’, is the protector of swordsmen and masters of arms. His skills as a judger of souls have also made him the patron of all trades that involve the use of assessments, such as traders, pharmacists, pastry chefs. He is also patron saint of the Police.

St. Gabriel

St. Gabriel
St. Gabriel
archangel gabriel
Buy on Holyart
Archangel Gabriel Wooden Statue Painted

Even the Archangel Gabriel, like Michael and Raphael, has a festival day- which is celebrated on September 29th.

His name derives from the Hebrew, and means “Power of God” or “God is Mighty”.

In the biblical tradition, he was considered to be one of the angels closest to the throne of God, to the point of being referred to as “the left hand of God”.

In the Bible, he is also presented as an angel of death, while for the Muslims he is one of the chief Messengers of God and the angel who revealed the Koran to Muhammad.

In the Christian tradition, Gabriel is particularly remembered as a messenger.

He revealed the future birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah, he appeared in a dream to Joseph to make him desist from repudiating Mary, because her pregnancy was the work of the Holy Spirit, and, naturally, because she was the bearer of a miraculous conception and of the birth of Jesus. In this case, more than in any other, he consecrated himself as being the messenger of God. It was Gabriel who appeared to Mary and told her that God had chosen her as the mother for His only Son. No imposition, no obligation. Only a request, addressed by one of the most powerful angels to a simple and humble girl. The role of Gabriel was therefore pivotal. He brings God’s message to us, making it understandable to us, helping us to listen with a pure heart and to accept the will of the Almighty.

Some interpretations have sought to see him as the angel who will blow the horn announcing the Day of Judgment, according to the Apocalypse of John.

Gabriel is considered to be the protector of those who work in communications, postmen, ambassadors, journalists and couriers.

Christian iconography depicts him as a young winged cherub, who often carries a lily in his hands, as a symbol of the Annunciation to Mary.

St. Raphael

St. Raphael
St. Raphael

Raphael is the Archangel whose mission is to bring healing. In fact, his name derives from Hebrew and means “God’s Doctor”.

In the Bible, he is among the angels closest to the throne of God, who was chosen by Tobias to guide him on his journey to collect the payments left by his father. During the journey, Raphael, in human form, found a suitable bride for Tobias and restored the sight to the boy’s father.

Raphael was considered to be the patron of conjugal love, of young people, engaged couples, spouses, pharmacists, educators, travellers and refugees. Although not mentioned in the Qur’an, for Muslims, he is the angel in charge of sounding the horn that will signal the start of the Day of Judgement (according to other traditions, this was the task of Gabriel).

Often depicted with a jar containing medicaments and fishes, he is the patron of pharmacists, travellers and refugees.

His role as a healer, as “God’s Doctor” should always be interpreted as the will to heal the soul, to relieve it from its suffering and make it best disposed to welcome God. By restoring sight to the father of Tobias, Raphael opened his eyes to the Truth of the Almighty, just as, by driving out the demons that persecuted the girl who was promised to him, he made their marriage and their love possible. That is why he is also considered to be a protector of engaged couples and of conjugal love. Both are symbolic and meaningful healings, therefore. The power of the Archangel Raphael heals blindness, like the faith and love that priests show us and communicate to us every day opens our eyes to God. Equally, divine intervention, through its emissary, dissipates the clouds between men and women, makes them pure and suitable for union, in the name of a love blessed by God and by the Church.

Through St. Raphael, the healing and purifying power of God’s love descends on us, making us more worthy, and closer to God.

8 posted on 09/29/2022 4:28:23 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: annalex

9 posted on 09/29/2022 4:34:22 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

From: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

Daniel's Vision
[9] As I looked, thrones were placed and one that was ancient of days took his seat; his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire. [10] A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.

[13] I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. [14] And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.


7:1-12:13. Up to the end of chapter 6, Daniel has been the interpreter of kings' dreams; now his own dreams are interpreted for him by an angel or heavenly being: the interpreter explains dreams (chaps. 7-8), the meaning of Scripture (chap. 9), and a vision (chaps. 10-12); and Daniel himself notes it all down.

Daniel had announced to Nebuchadnezzar the end of time as part of the interpretation of his dream (cf. 2:28); now Daniel is told when it will happen (cf. 12:5-12); for him (cf. 2:28); he is given a more specific revelation in which the figure of the tyrannical Antiochus IV (described here symbolically) is depicted as the epitome of evil and his death will mark the end of the present age (cf. 11:45-12:1). Earlier, Daniel's wisdom was seen as a divine gift to be used for the benefit of foreign kings; now it is depicted as coming from a revelation in which God speaks to Daniel through heavenly messengers and tells him about the meaning of human history--a revelation that he must commit to writing, as a source of comfort and hope for the chosen people. "Revelation has set within history a point of reference which cannot be ignored if the mystery of human life is to be known. Yet this knowledge refers back constantly to the mystery of God which the human mind cannot exhaust but can only receive and embrace in faith. Between these two poles, reason has its own specific field in which it can enquire and understand, restricted only by its finiteness before the infinite mystery of God" (John Paul II, "Fides Et Ratio", 14).

7:1-28. This chapter marks the end of the part of the book written in Aramaic; in it we again find elements seen in chapter 2 (where the Aramaic part began); these include: the arrangement of history into four periods (symbolized there by metals, here by beasts) and the establishment of an everlasting kingdom at the end. Thus, the chapter closes the Aramaic section and acts as a kind of introduction to the chapters (in Hebrew) in which Daniel receives and writes down divine revelations. Chapter 8 is written in Hebrew and it explains chapter 7; and this pattern continues: chapter 9 is explained by chapter 10; and 11 by 12. Daniel first outlines his dream or vision, and it is then interpreted by an angelic being. In this chapter the content of the dream is given in vv. 1-14, and its interpretation in vv. 15-28. Vision and interpretation constitute a single event, an account of which Daniel writes down, as he mentions at start (cf. v. 1) and finish (cf. v. 28). Daniel's "signature" at beginning and end confirms the truth of his vision and the truthfulness of what he has written for the reader.

7:1-14. In chapter 5 the picture drawn of Belshazzar suggested that he stood figuratively for the sacrilegious King Antiochus IV. It is not surprising, then, that this dream of Daniel's is set in the first year of Belshazzar's reign, given that the climax of the prophecy (the little horn) concerns Antiochus IV. God is going to intervene definitively when irreligion is at its worst. There are two scenes in the vision--the beasts coming out of the sea (vv. 2-8) and the divine court and judgment (vv. 9-14).

7:9-14. Divine judgment is passed on the kingdoms in this scene. God is depicted as being seated on a throne in heaven, his glory flashing out and angels all around. Judgment is about to take place, and it will be followed by execution of the sentence. The books (v. 10) contain all the actions of men (cf. Jer 17:1; Mal 3:16; Ps 56:8; Rev 20:12). The seer is shown history past (not laid out according to chronology:all the empires are included in one glance), and he notes that a more severe sentence is passed on the blasphemous horn than on the other beasts. They had their lives extended (v. 12), that is, their deprivation of power did not spell the end; but the little horn is destroyed forthwith. "Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching (cf. Dan 7:10; Joel 3-4; Mal 3:19; Mt 3:7-42)" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 678).

The one "like a son of man" who comes with the clouds of heaven and who, after the judgment, is given everlasting dominion over all the earth, is the very antithesis of the beasts. He has not risen from a turbulent sea like them; there is nothing ferocious about him. Rather, he has been raised up by God (he comes with the clouds of heaven) and he shares the human condition. The dignity of all mankind is restored through this son of man's triumph over the beasts. This figure, as we will discover later, stands for 'the people of the saints of the Most High' (7:27), that is, faithful Israel. However, he is also an individual (just as the winged lion was an individual, and the little horn), and insofar as he is given a kingdom, he is a king. What we have here is an individual who represents the people. In Jewish circles around the time of Christ, this "son of man" was interpreted as being the Messiah, a real person (cf. "Book of the Parables of Enoch"); but it was a title that became linked to the sufferings of the Messiah and to his resurrection from the dead only when Jesus Christ applied it to himself in the Gospel. "Jesus accepted Peter's profession of faith, which acknowledged him to be the Messiah, by announcing the imminent Passion of the Son of Man (cf. Mt 16:23). He unveiled the authentic content of his messianic kingship both in the transcendent identity of the Son of Man 'who came down from heaven' (Jn 3:13; cf. Jn 6:62; Dan 7:13), and in his redemptive mission as the suffering Servant: 'The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many' (Mt 20:28; cf. Is 53:10-12)" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 440).

When the Church proclaims in the Creed that Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, she is saying that it was to Christ that dominion was given; "Being seated at the Father's right hand signifies the inauguration of the Messiah's kingdom, the fulfillment of the prophet Daniel's vision concerning the Son of man; 'To him was given domination and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed' (Dan 7:14). After this event the apostles became witnesses of the 'kingdom [that] will have no end' (Nicene Creed)" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 664).


From: Revelation 12:7-12ab

The Woman Fleeing from the Dragon (Continuation)
[7] Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, [8] but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. [9] And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. [10] And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. [11] And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. [12] Rejoice then, 0 heaven and you that dwell therein! "


7-9. The war between the dragon with his angels, and Michael and his, and the defeat of the former, are depicted as being closely connected with the death and glorification of Christ (cf. vv. 5, 11). The reference to Michael and the "ancient" serpent, and also the result of the battle (being cast down from heaven), reminds us of the origin of the devil. Once a most exalted creature, according to certain Jewish traditions (of. "Latin Life of Adam and Eve", 12-16) he became a devil because when God created man in his own image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26; 2:7), he refused to acknowledge the dignity granted to man: Michael obeyed, but the devil and some other angels rebelled against God because they regarded man as beneath them. As a result the devil and his angelic followers were cast down to earth to be imprisoned in hell, which is why they ceaselessly tempt man, trying to make him sin so as to deprive him of the glory of God.

In the light of this tradition, the Book of Revelation emphasizes that Christ. the new Adam, true God and true man, through his glorification merits and receives the worship that is his due--which spells the total rout of the devil. God's design embraces both creation and redemption. Christ, "the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created" (Col 1:15-16), defeats the devil in a war which extends throughout human history; but the key stage in that war was the incarnation, death and glorification of our Lord: "Now is the judgment of this world," Jesus says, referring to those events; "now shall the ruler of this world be cast out and I, when I am lifted up from earth, will draw all men to myself' (Jn 12:31-33). And, when his disciples come to him to tell him that demons were subject to his name, he exclaimed, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" (Lk 10:18).

In Daniel 10:13 and 12:1 we are told that it is the archangel Michael who defends the chosen people on God's behalf. His name means "Who like God?" and his mission is to guard the rights of God against those who would usurp them, be they human tyrants or Satan himself, who tried to make off with the body of Moses according to the Letter of St Jude (v. 9). This explains why St Michael appears in the Apocalypse as the one who confronts Satan, the ancient serpent, although the victory and punishment is decided by God or Christ. The Church, therefore, invokes St Michael as its guardian in adversity and its protector against the snares of the devil (cf. "The Liturgy of the Hours", 2nd September, office of readings).

The Fathers of the Church interpret these verses of the Apocalypse as a reference to the battle between Michael and the devil at the dawn of history, a battle which stemmed from the test which angelic spirits had to undergo. And, in the light of the Apocalypse, they interpret as referring to that climactic moment the words which the prophet Isaiah uttered against the king of Babylon: "How you are fallen from heaven, 0 Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!" (Is 14:12). They also see this passage of the Apocalypse as referring to the war Satan wages against the Church throughout history, a war which will take on its most dreadful form at the end of time: "Heaven is the Church," St Gregory writes, "which in the night of this present life, the while it possesses in itself the countless virtues of the saints, shines like the radiant heavenly stars; but the dragon's tail sweeps the stars down to the earth [...]. The stars which fall from heaven are those who have lost hope in heavenly things and covet, under the devil's guidance; the sphere of earthly glory" ("Moralia", 32, 13).

10-12. With the ascension of Christ into heaven the Kingdom of God is established and so all those who dwell in heaven break out into a song of joy. The devil has been deprived of his power over man in the sense that the redemptive action of Christ and man's faith enable man to escape from the world of sin. The text expresses this joyful truth by saying that there is now no place for the accuser, Satan whose name means and whom the Old Testament teaches to be the accuser of men before God: cf. Job 1:6-12; 2:1-10). Given what God meant creation to be, Satan could claim as his victory anyone who, through sinning, disfigured the image and likeness of God that was in him. However, once the Redemption has taken place, Satan no longer has power to do this, for, as St John writes, "if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (Jn 2:1-2). Also, on ascending into heaven, Christ sent us the Holy Spirit as "Intercessor and Advocate, especially when man, that is, mankind, find themselves before the judgment of condemnation by that 'accuser' about whom the Book of Revelation says that 'he accuses them day and night before our God"' (John Paul II, "Dominum et Vivificantem", 67).

Although Satan has lost this power to act in the world, he still has time left, between the resurrection of our Lord and the end of history, to put obstacles in man's way and frustrate Christ's action. And so he works ever more frenetically, as he sees time run out, in his effort to distance everyone and society itself from the plans and commandments of God.

The author of the Book of Revelation uses this celestial chant to warn the Church of the onset of danger as the End approaches.

10 posted on 09/29/2022 5:56:11 AM PDT by fidelis (👈 Under no obligation to respond to rude, ignorant, abusive, bellicose, and obnoxious posts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: fidelis
From: John 1:47-51

The Calling of the First Disciples
[47] Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to Him, and said to him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" [48] Nathaniel said to Him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." [49] Nathaniel answered Him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! [50] Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these." [51] And He said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see Heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."


43. "Follow Me" is what Jesus usually says to all His disciples (cf. Mt4:19; 8:22; 9:9). During Jesus' lifetime, His invitation to follow Him implied being with Him in His public ministry, listening to His teaching, imitating His lifestyle, etc. Once the Lord ascended into Heaven, following Him obviously does not mean going with Him along the roads of Palestine; it means that "a Christian should live as Christ lived, making the affections of Christ his own, so that he can exclaim with St Paul: "It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me'" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 103). In all cases our Lord's invitation involves setting out on a journey: that is, it requires one to lead a life of striving always to do God's will even if this involves generous self-sacrifice.

45-51. The Apostle Philip is so moved that he cannot but tell his friend Nathaniel (Bartholomew) about his wonderful discovery (verse45). "Nathaniel had heard from Scripture that Jesus must come from Bethlehem, from the people of David. This belief prevailed among the Jews and also the prophet had proclaimed it of old, saying: `But you, O Bethlehem, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler of Israel' (Micah 5:2).Therefore, when he heard that He was from Nazareth, he was troubled and in doubt, since he found that the announcement of Philip was not in agreement with the words of the prophecy" (St. John Chrysostom, "Hom.on St. John", 20, 1).

A Christian may find that, in trying to communicate his faith to others, they raise difficulties. What should he do? What Philip did--not trust his own explanation, but invite them to approach Jesus personally: "Come and see" (verse 46). In other words, a Christian should bring his fellow-men, his brothers into Jesus' presence through the means of grace which He has given them and which the Church ministers--frequent reception of the sacraments, and devout Christian practices.

Nathaniel, a sincere person (verse 47), goes along with Philip to see Jesus; he makes personal contact with our Lord (verse 48), and the outcome is that he receives faith (the result of his ready reception of grace, which reaches him through Christ's human nature: verse 49).

As far as we can deduce from the Gospels, Nathaniel is the first Apostle to make an explicit confession of faith in Jesus as Messiah and as Son of God. Later on St. Peter, in a more formal way, will recognize our Lord's divinity (cf. Matthew 16:16). Here (verse 51) Jesus evokes a text from Daniel (7:13) to confirm and give deeper meaning to the words spoken by His new disciple.

Source: Daily Word for Reflection—Navarre Bible Commentary

11 posted on 09/29/2022 5:56:28 AM PDT by fidelis (👈 Under no obligation to respond to rude, ignorant, abusive, bellicose, and obnoxious posts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson