The Feast of St Cecilia | Tuesday 22 November 2022

Today is Tuesday the 22nd of November, the feast of St Cecilia, patron saint of music, in the 34th week of Ordinary time.

As we hear long-time musicians of Pray As You Go, Salt of the Sound, sing the Doxology, take a moment to join in with this song of praise.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

Today is the feast day of St Cecilia, patron saint of musicians. You might wonder what kind of music would fit today’s reading we are about to hear from the book of the Apocalypse. . .

Apoc 14:14-19

Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand! Another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to the one who sat on the cloud, ‘Use your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.’ So the one who sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, ‘Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and he threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God.

The church that was first hearing the Book of Revelation knew what persecution felt like. And they were well aware of the might of Rome and its antipathy to Christianity. Passages like this would have brought reassurance that, ultimately, God is mightier than Rome. And also, that God’s anger at injustice means a deep desire in God for the Kingdom to come.

As you consider the present world, where do find yourself feeling angry? How is God looking at the same issue with you? What would you like God’s angels to do?

As you listen again, imagine you’re gathered with those early Christians hearing it for the first time. Some people in that church have lost their lives because of the faith. Your community is not safe. The forces of evil feel overwhelming . . .

We are living with our own fears. Talk to God now about your fears.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Tuesday, 22 November
34th week in Ordinary Time
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