34th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday, Year II

In today’s First Reading John shares a vision of the Last Judgment. Christ the King comes on a cloud, reminiscent of the prophecy of the Book of Daniel regarding a son of man (see Daniel 7:13). He bears a sickle because the time of harvest is at hand; Our Lord preached about the need for a grain of wheat to fall into the ground and die in order to bear fruit, and now all those grains of wheat have grown to maturity and are ready to be harvested. This is the gathering of the chosen.

At the same time an angel harvests grapes with a sickle to press for making the wine of God’s fury. This wine is an image taken from the prophets (Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15-16, 49:12, 51:7; Ezekiel 23:31-34), the reaping and pressing represent the doom of the ungodly: wines in a press are trampled underfoot.

Do you see the Bread of Life in your future or the wine of wrath? It’s up to you.

Readings: Revelation 14:14–19; Psalm 96:10–13; Luke 21:5–11. See also 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C and 34th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday.