Nov 14, 2021: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Those who lead the many to justice... shall be like the stars forever.

1st Reading – Daniel 12:1-3

In those days, I Daniel,
heard this word of the Lord:
“At that time there shall arise
Michael, the great prince,
guardian of your people;
it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress
since nations began until that time.
At that time your people shall escape,
everyone who is found written in the book.

“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake;
some shall live forever,
others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.

“But the wise shall shine brightly
like the splendor of the firmament,
and those who lead the many to justice
shall be like the stars forever.”

Although the Book of Daniel tells us virtually all that we know about the prophet of the same name, the author is unknown. There are unusual changes in construction throughout the text (e.g., the first person frequently alternating with the third), leading scholars to suspect that multiple authors and/or editors may have been involved.

The Book of Daniel is an example of apocapytic literature, which enjoyed a great deal of popularity for a 400 year period (200 BC to 200 AD). The imagery of apocalyptic literature was used to describe the cataclysmic experience of persecution. It was always addressed to the same audience (persecuted people) with the same theme: people should remain hopeful because their persecution would end soon. The Book of Daniel was written during the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes around 167-164 BC.

Daniel had four apocalyptic visions which are described in chapters 7 through 12. Today’s reading comes from the ending of the fourth vision: an apocalyptic scene depicting the final struggle of human beings at the end of time. Continue reading “Nov 14, 2021: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)”