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A KINGDOM THAT SHALL NEVER BE DESTROYED
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Friday, Last Week of the Year, November 29, 2013
Dan. 7:2-14, Dan. 3, Luke 21:29-33


"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. 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" (Dan. 7:13-14).


We see here a prophecy about the last days, when "the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, for ever and ever" (Dan. 7:18). "And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them" (Dan. 7:27). The Son of Man shall be the king of this kingdom, for "to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom" (Dan. 7:14).


This prophecy will be fulfilled at the Parousia or second coming of Jesus Christ, as he himself prophesied, saying, "I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matt. 26:64). He will be the king of the saints of the Most High, the king of the kingdom of God on earth, and his kingdom will destroy and replace all other kingdoms and will last forever. "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever" (Dan. 2:44).


This is the kingdom of God, of which Jesus Christ is the king. This kingdom will fill the whole earth (Dan. 2:35) and last forever, a universal and eternal kingdom of peace on earth. Its king is the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, for "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" (Dan. 7:14).


We now live in this kingdom of peace on earth through faith, and we wait in hope for its full manifestation when Jesus Christ comes again on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory with all his saints. And on that day there shall be a great light. It is for this that we are preparing ourselves now. We do not want to fall out of this spell, out of this living hope, but rather be always prepared, always ready for his coming.


On that day there "will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven ... and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matt. 24:30-31).


We are now in the final days of the liturgical year, and the day after tomorrow we will begin the beautiful season of Advent, which is a continuation of this time of waiting for the coming of the Lord. We are in his kingdom now through faith. We experience liberation from sin through the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. He freed us from the darkness and depression of sin and guilt and gave us a new life in him and a new hope to live for. Our work now is the joyful work of extending this kingdom of peace on earth to all the world by preaching the gospel to it.


The gospel is the message that through his death Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took our part and suffered death as the punishment for our sins (Gen. 2:17), a death that we should have suffered for our own sins, and that in doing this he absolved us from our sins and from the sadness and depression of guilt because of them, when we put our faith in him. Those who believe in him with saving faith experience this liberation here and now through his Paschal Mystery. This is the core of the gospel that we are now to preach to the world for its renewal. This is our mission in the world, as we await the full manifestation in glory of his kingdom of peace on earth, in which we now live through faith.

 

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