Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
Ad Dominum -- the turning point of History
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By Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
January 4, 2018

Ad Dominum "To the Lord" in the future and BC "Before Christ" measure and mark the time of human history adopted by the nations of the West in their calendars. 'In time' the Second Coming of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, will mark the end of time, East and West, and the final judgment of the world. The final verse of Psalm 149:5-9 written c. 500 BC announced the end of time and this world as we know it:

1 Hallelujah! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.

2 Let Israel be glad in its maker, the people of Zion rejoice in their king.

3 Let them praise his name in dance, make music with tambourine and lyre.

4 For the Lord takes delight in his people, honors the poor with victory.

5 Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, cry out for joy on their couches,

6 With the praise of God in their mouths, and a two-edged sword in their hands,

7 To bring retribution on the nations, punishment on the peoples,

8 To bind their kings in shackles, their nobles in chains of iron,

9 To execute the judgments decreed for them – such is the glory of all God's faithful.

Hallelujah!

"With...a two edged sword in their hands...to execute the judgments decreed for them – such is the glory of all God's faithful." We will all be there, alive or rising from the dead for the final judgment. Include this in our human sensibility of "timelessness" which Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes and which was the subject of my last article:

"There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens." [and]
"God has made everything appropriate to its time, / but has put the timeless into their hearts /
so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, / the work which God has done." ( Eccles. 3:1,11 )

Of all the eras of history the Son of God chose to arrive as an infant during the reign Augustus Caesar, Emperor of Rome, at a time of civil peace throughout the world after Rome had conquered all it desired and peace reigned in the empire. The Empire of Rome had many kings and kingdoms under its rule including Israel. Rome had ceded to itself all the lands previously held by the empires of Babylon, Assyria and the famed Emperor, Alexander the Great. None of these empires were, however, as despotic, tyrannical or long lasting as the Empire of Rome. As all previous empires Rome conquered they acquired in blood, fear and intimidation, and no other empire was as effective as Rome. Jesus' crucifixion was only one of a quarter of a million men executed under Roman rule whose crosses routinely lined the roads into the lands and cities governed by Rome – from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and Black Seas and all points North, South, East and West which the Roman legions had surveyed and won.

Nonetheless, In point of historical fact, the Empire of God succeeded the most ruthless of empires where today in Rome in the ground under the altar of the Basilica of Saint Peter's lies the crucified body of Jesus' successor. For three centuries after the crucifixion of Christ the martyrs and other witnesses of Christ – led to the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great in 330 AD and the union of the Byzantine and Roman Empires.

( http://bit.ly/Conversion_of_Constantine ). Eventually the two empires became the Holy Roman Empire which as in all human events had its fits and starts and was strengthened with the coronation of Charlemagne of France as Emperor in 800 AD. The empire continued a thousand years until its dissolution by Napoleon in 1806. No empire or city of man can, however, compare to The City of God which Saint Augustine described in his treatise. As the Evangelist John wrote in the Gospel, "the children of God" who are citizens of the City of God are "not born by natural generation nor by human choice nor by man's decision but of God" (John 1:13).

It fields no armies or exerts no worldly power among the nations of the world perduring today two thousand years – not because of the heroics of men and women, saints and sinners, but of God's generation of the body and spirit of Jesus Christ in the hearts and minds of one billion two hundred million souls of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and the "other sheep," Jesus said, "he will gather into the fold" who today number an additional billion other brothers and sisters in Christ (John 10:16 ).

His Empire everlasting waits.

© Fr. Tom Bartolomeo

 

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Fr. Tom Bartolomeo

I am the founder and director of the Families For Families Retreat House, a refuge for anyone who wants to rethink his or her life in a quiet non-demanding environment in an historic house c.1709 when life was less complicated. I am also and primarily a Catholic priest having been a college and university teacher, business-owner and executive among other things. I received my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English literature from Saint John's University, Jamaica, New York and completed post-graduate studies at Kansas State University. Contact me at FatherTomSays@gmail.com.

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