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Posts Tagged ‘Gabriel’


Daniel 9:1-12Ultimate Fulfillment

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Written on January 9 and posted today as a favorite . . .

Tilda Swinton as Gabriel in “Constantine”

What we see today is Daniel’s interaction with God’s messenger Gabriel who is mentioned here for the first time in scripture.  We know that scripture is not history – it is not an accurate telling of events in a sequential manner in order to set facts in place; rather, it is an inspired record of our interactions with God over thousands of years.  This is the gift of the Torah, prophets, and wisdom literature.  It is the gift of the accounts of Jesus, the Apostles and the Holy Spirit as a manifestation of God among us.

In today’s Noontime, footnotes tell us that the Darius the Mede whom we see in this prophecy is “unknown in profane history.  The Median kingdom had already been conquered by Cyrus the Persian, and it was Cyrus who captured Babylon.  Evidently the author of Daniel has deliberately adopted an apocalyptic view of history, derived from prophecy . . . according to which the Medes form the second of four world kingdoms preceding the messianic times . . . The character of Darius the Mede has probably been modeled on that of the Persian King Darius the Great (522-486 B.C.), the second successor of Cyrus”.   (Senior 1096)

Further commentary tells us that “the prophet Jeremiah (25,11; 29,10) prophesied a Babylonian captivity of seventy years, a round number signifying the complete passing away of the existing generation, Jeremiah’s prophesy was fulfilled in the capture of Babylon by Cyrus and the subsequent return of the Jews to Palestine.  However, the author of Daniel, living during the persecution of Antiochus, sees the conditions of the exile still existing; therefore in his mediation he extends Jeremiah’s number to seventy weeks of years (v 24), i.e., seven times seventy years, to characterize the Jewish victory over the Seleucids as the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy”.  (Senior 1100-1101)

What we see today is not a story about people or places we know in history.  Nor is it a story about a particular time in our human record that has little to do with us in 2011.  What we have before us is the story of how we – like Daniel – might interact with God’s messenger and with God himself.  It is the story about the ultimate fulfillment of prophecy.  It is the story of how God visits us constantly, how God interacts with us, and how God always keeps his promises.

When we flag or lose faith, when we are exhausted from the effort of our journey, when we are at the point of feeling that our exile will never end, we might – like Daniel – turn to God, acknowledge our humanity, and enter into a dialog with the divine.  For it is through our trials, when we drop our defenses against God’s presence in our lives, that we are most intimate with God.  And it is through our anguish and suffering that we encounter our divinity within.  This is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises to us – to live freely and wholly in the Spirit.


A re-post from August 9, 2011.

Image from: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2005/02/06/arts/06devr_CA0ready.html 

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.1096,1100-1101. Print.   

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Monday, December 16, 2013

jesus-lamb-of-god[1]Luke 2:21

The Naming

When the eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Parents devote much time and thought to the naming of a child but history does not record any conversation Mary and Joseph may have had on the naming of Jesus.  As we see with the relatives, friends and neighbors of Elizabeth and Zechariah, many opinions may come to bear on the naming of an infant, but scripture merely records the fact that Mary and Joseph did as Gabriel requested.  And the child’s name continues to resonate through millennia.

God says: When you come to a crossroad or feel pressured by others and you are at a loss for how to proceed, step away from the confusion and center yourself on your purpose.  Call on me in times when others crowd you so that chaos will simply fall away.  Place your focus on how your actions reflect the goodness for which I created you.  Concentrate not on the opinions of others but on the integrity your actions will – or will not – have. When in doubt, call on the name of this one who is all for all eternity.  Call on the name of Jesus.

For more reflections, enter the words The Name of Jesus, into the blog search bar.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

imagesCAO1YZTJLuke 1:26-38

Finding Favor

Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.  Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.  

We know little about Mary, the mother of the Christ, and yet we know all that we need to know.  Mary was reared as a faithful child of God.  Mary remained faithful to God throughout the turmoil of her life.  Mary remains faithful still as she continues to visit the children of God.

God says:  Many of you strive to find favor with friends, loved ones and those with whom you work; yet you only once in a while think of me or think of finding favor with me.  I do not ask that you spend an unreasonable amount of your time away from your favorite pursuits or companions but I do ask this – remember me each day for I am the one who has given you time.  Bring your sorrows to me each day for I am the one who brings you hope.  Rejoice and sing with me each day for I am the one who gives you life.

To find favor with God we might follow the example shown to us by Mary.  Let us remain faithful children of God despite the tumult in our lives.  Let us bring our fears and sorrows to God who created us. And let us celebrate with God who brings us life.

We celebrate the day of Gabriel’s visitation on March 23.  For more on this day, click on the image above or go to: http://wordincarnate.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/word-made-flesh/

To investigate and reflect upon the Marian apparitions, watch a video posted at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYI0H3eAfhk

Go to: http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/appdisce/nineapps.html

Or make your own search of information available about these spiritual visits.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Carlo Dolci: The Angel Gabriel

Carlo Dolci: The Angel Gabriel

Luke 1:18-19

How Shall We Know This?

I am Gabriel who stands before God.  I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news.  

Gabriel appears to Daniel (Daniel 9:21), Zechariah (Luke 1:19) and Mary (Luke 1:26) to announce good news from God.  We too want to hear words that lift our hearts as we manage the complexities and challenges of living.

God says: My angels bring you constant messages although they struggle to be heard amid the cacophony of your lives.  If you are able to find a regular quiet time – even if for only a few moments each day – when you will draw apart to open the door of your heart to me, you will feel the presence of my angels.  You will also feel my own presence within you.  How shall you know this?   Only come to me . . . and you will know.

The words of Psalm 138 remind us: I thank you, Lord, with all my heart, you have heard the words of my mouth.  In the presence of the angels I will bless you . . . I thank you for your faithfulness and love  . . . You increased the strength of my soul . . . All earth’s kings shall thank you . . . They shall sing of the Lord’s ways. 

How shall we know that God is great?

St. Paul reminds the Colossians: Be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 

How shall we know?  When we create time for God in our hectic lives, we will come to know.

Enter the word angels into the blog search bar and explore.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Psalm 34:7The Angel of the Lord encompasses those who fear him, and he will deliver them. 

Michael

The angels are God’s messengers and envoys.  The Archangels are Michael the Defender, Gabriel the Announcer, Raphael the Healer, and Lucifer the Beautiful One.  Even among these special creatures we see both a willingness and an aversion to obedience. 

God says: As special and as beautiful as the angels are, they do not compare to the radiance of the human race.  I do not make them in my image.  Only you, my beloved ones, have such privilege.  My angels are constantly with you, guiding, protecting, communicating.  Each of you has a special guardian of your own.  There are also fleets of swift-winged creatures who come and go constantly with messages for you. 

Gabriel

I do not want you to be fearful.  I do not want you to feel alone and so I send them among you . . . even as I am among you.  Do not be afraid.  I am with you.  My angels are with you.  You are already delivered from the dark ones who would pull you into their world.  Sleep well.  Rise well.  Go into the day tomorrow with a smile.

Raphael

Wishing you peaceful days and happy nights.  May Michael defend you, Gabriel announce God’s word to you, Raphael heal you . . . and Lucifer stay far away from you.  All this God does that you might be well.

For more on the Archangels click on the images, or go to: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2011-09-29

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012  – Daniel 9:20-23 – Gabriel Comes to Daniel

The Angel Gabriel

Written on February 3, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

We know the story of Daniel so well . . . the boys in the furnace . . . Daniel with the lions in their den . . . the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream . . . the handwriting on the wall . . . this bright young man lives in captivity yet never leaves his God . . . and his God never leaves him.  

Today’s reading is brief yet it calls us to reflect on the many stories in this book.  Who brings the wonderful visions to Daniel which he records?  Gabriel.  The Announcer.  The first angel in scripture to be described as arriving with wings . . . who comes to tell Daniel that their captivity will be even longer than they had anticipated.  Rather than the 70 years of waiting which Jeremiah described, God’s people must remain in exile 70 times 70 . . . 490 years.  And how are they to abide during such a long time?  How are they to know that God is with them?  Daniel demonstrates even as Gabriel arrives.  He prays, he examines his own conscience and the collective conscience of his people, he petitions God, he seeks the meaning of the things that Yahweh has revealed to him, and he awaits the wisdom of God with a patient and open heart.

It is difficult to wait for justice.  It is painful to ache for mercy and compassion.  Yet this so many times is the human condition.  If Gabriel were to appear before us this very minute to announce that some long-awaited intercession would indeed arrive . . . but in God’s time and plan rather than our own . . . would we react as Daniel does?  Are we truly good and loyal servants?

Patience is difficult when we see something floating just beyond our own reach.  Yet if we believe that God creates all, loves all, and wants justice for all, there is no other way to live.  We must be open vessels which the Holy Spirit fills.  We must be clean temples where Christ may act as high priest.  We must be like the five faithful virgins who wait outside the inn in the quiet darkness for the bridegroom, conserving their oil, preparing their lanterns and knowing that the day and hour of his coming are a mystery. 

Titian: The Annunciation - Gabriel and Mary

If the angel of the Lord were to appear before us in rapid flight at the time of the evening sacrifice,would we be as open as Daniel?  Would we be as willing?  Would we be as patient? 

When the evening hour approaches, as we go to God in humble yet joyful prayer and petition, let us ready our hearts, let us still our minds, and let us call on the wisdom of God.  And if the message which our God sends to us on swift angel wing is a message which tells us that we must wait beyond all waiting, then let us give joyful reply to God.  Let us answer him.  Amen.

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