29 November, Friday – Learning to live

29 November

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Daniel 7:2-14

I, Daniel, have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea; four great beasts emerged from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion with eagle’s wings; and as I looked its wings were torn off, and it was lifted from the ground and set standing on its feet like a man; and it was given a human heart. The second beast I saw was different, like a bear, raised up on one of its sides, with three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth. “Up!” came the command “Eat quantities of flesh!” After this I looked, and saw another beast, like a leopard, and with four bird’s wings on its flanks; it had four heads, and power was given to it. Next I saw another vision in the visions of the night: I saw a fourth beast, fearful, terrifying, very strong; it had great iron teeth, and it ate, crushed and trampled underfoot what remained. It was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns.

While I was looking at these horns, I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one; three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and in this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that was full of boasts. 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.

The great things the horn was saying were still ringing in my ears, and as I watched, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and committed to the flames. The other beasts were deprived of their power, but received a lease of life for a season and a time.

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.

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Luke 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable: ‘Think of the fig tree and indeed every tree. As soon as you see them bud, you know that summer is now near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’

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Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

I have always thought about what legacy which I would want to leave after I have passed on. There was this saying in one of Mitch Albom’s books that goes “Only when learn how to die, then we learn how to live.” I find this statement very true because only when we accept our mortality do we then realise that perhaps all the work should be directed towards glorifying God. There is a need to identify what it means to be a Christian and how our actions and words can reflect our identity as a Christian.

Indeed, this is something that we could reflect upon as we come to the end of the Church’s liturgical year. As we reflect upon what we have accomplished in the past year , perhaps we could give thanks to God for our lives. Indeed, sometimes we take many things for granted which others may be envious. God has given us many talents that we possess. We will need to make the effort to discern what plan God has for us in our lives and to work towards seeing how we can align God’s will for us with our talents and the needs of the community where we live in.

Only through this process can we discover how to become a more congruent person. This may require us to die to our former selves and instead live a life based on Christian virtues and values. Let us be confident to handle the challenges that come our way knowing that God is with us.

(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit into our lives to help us find out what you want from us.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all the people who continue to impart the faith.

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