Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 20: Last Sunday after Pentecost/Fifth Sunday of November

And so we reach the last Sunday of the liturgical year!

At Matins this Sunday, the Scripture readings are from the prophet Micah (who prophesied around 740-701 BC). Micah and Isaiah were contemporaries, and the Chapter of his book set for Sunday Matins (Ch 1) tells of the coming punishment for Israel's sins. The antiphon for I Vespers though, actually comes from Isaiah 62, and perhaps anticipates the promises contained in later chapters of Micah for the preservation of a remnant, and the coming of the new David in glory.

The Gospel this Sunday, referred to in the two canticle antiphons, is Matthew 24:15-35, which is a prophecy of the end times:

"When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that reads let him understand. Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains: And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take anything out of his house: And he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. And woe to them that are with child and that give suck in those days. But pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the sabbath. For there shall be then great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be....And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven. And then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty. And he shall send his angels with a trumpet and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them... Amen I say to you that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass: but my words shall not pass."

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