Today is Friday the 27 November, in the 34th week of Ordinary Time.
Luke Parker sings, ‘In Quietness’. As you enter into prayer, become aware of your breathing… your surroundings… the noises around you… notice these things, and then let them fall away, allowing your focus to turn towards the Lord.
Today’s reading is from the Book of the Apocalypse.
Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
The French singer, Edith Piaf, famously sang: “Non, je ne regrette rien.” (No, I don't regret anything). Yet many of us look backwards wishing we could change something in our past. In today’s reading, we are presented with an image of the final judgement when the book of life is opened and our lives are revealed before God. Do you carry regrets about your past life? Share these with God now in prayer and ask God for light and wisdom to make sense of what to do with these regrets...
The passage ends on a supremely hopeful note. With Jesus’s resurrection, death has been conquered. A new heaven and earth are possible. Do you believe this even if it only strikes you as a feint flicker of recognition?
Listen again to the reading...
You might like to spend the final moments of this time, praying for a deeper understanding and knowledge of Jesus’s resurrection in your own life. Talk to God as one friend speaks to another, about what stirs in you…
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.