MARCH 27, 2016 – EASTER SUNDAY (C) – THE DISCIPLES AT THE TOMB

(John 20:1-8)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Give me the faith to seek the risen Christ.

Imagination: Picture the disciples at the empty tomb.

Context:

If Jesus has risen from the dead, then his tomb must be empty. All four gospels begin their Easter stories with visits to the empty tomb and with descriptions of the disciples’ reactions.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

When it was still dark on the first day of the week, Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away. She ran to Peter and to the disciple whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they have placed him.”

Then, Peter and the other disciple went out to the tomb. They both ran together but the other disciple outran Peter and came first to the tomb. When he bent down, he saw the linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. When Peter arrived, he went into the tomb and saw the linen clothes. The cloth that had been around his head was not lying with the linen clothes, but was wrapped together in another place. Then, the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in. He saw and believed. As yet they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. The disciples left and went home, but Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The Beloved Disciple is the author of John’s gospel. All of the many details, (about the various linens, where they were placed, and who arrived first), are memories of his personal experiences.
  2. Notice the readiness of these three disciples. Magdalen comes as early as possible, while Peter and the Beloved Disciple run to the tomb.
  3. Although experiencing the empty tomb, the disciples still do not know that Jesus is risen.
  4. Peter seems totally confused. The Beloved Disciple believes, but does not understand the full story. Magdalen is weeping.
  5. This is God’s first stirring. The full gift will soon come. At least, they are searching.
  6. The two disciples return home. Magdalen’s great love, however, takes her in a more important direction. She stays at the tomb.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. O Lord, thank you for these eyewitnesses. My faith in your resurrection is based on their witness.
  2. All this evidence captures my intellect. The stone is rolled away.       The body is not there. The linens are in various places.
  3. My heart is ready to believe.
  4. Let me run. Let me hurry quickly. I must find you.
  5. Give me the heart of Magdalen. I don’t want to return home to the empty world.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. I will renew my faith in the risen Jesus.
  2. I will study the scriptures

Thought for Today: (To recall your Meditation)

Magdalen ran to the apostles. Peter and the Beloved Disciple ran to the tomb.

MARCH 13, 2016 – WEEK FIVE OF LENT – SUNDAY – C – THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY

(John 8:1-11)

Prayer: O Jesus, forgive me and set me free from all my accusers.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus in the temple with the accused woman before him.)

Context:

This story fulfills Jesus’ statement “You judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone.” (Jn 8:15) Jesus teaching in the temple and people getting up early to hear him is attested by Luke (21:38). This story follows the usual pattern of Jesus’ enemies trying to entrap him. Jesus extends God’s mercy so the woman can turn away from evil.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Early in the morning, Jesus came to the temple and all the people came to hear him. He sat down while he taught. The scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman caught in adultery and placed her in his presence. They said, “Master, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now, in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such a person. What do you say?” They said this to tempt him, so they might accuse him. But Jesus, bowing down, wrote on the ground with his finger.

As they continued to ask him, Jesus looked up and said, “Whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” He, then, bent down and again wrote on the ground. Hearing this, they walked away, one by one, beginning with the elders.

Jesus was alone with the woman standing before him. Looking up, Jesus said, “Woman, where are those who accused you? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Neither will I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.”

Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The people were so anxious to hear Jesus that they rose early in the morning.
  2. The Jewish leaders had no interest in Jesus’ teaching. They wanted only to entrap him.
  3. For these leaders, the adulterous woman is only an instrument they can use. For Jesus, she is a person whom he can forgive.
  4. As Jesus writes on the ground, the accusers recognize their sins.
  5. His challenge to be without sin is too great for them and they leave.
  6. The woman is relieved that these sinful accusers are gone.
  7. Jesus, the sinless one, refuses to condemn her. He invites her to become sinless, also.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. O Jesus, make me anxious to learn your word.
  2. O Jesus, to you I am a person, the most important person in your Kingdom.
  3. I have many sins but you are my Saviour.
  4. When I am in your presence, I am filled with peace.
  5. You never condemn me Jesus, unless I refuse to repent.
  6. Help me to sin no more.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. I will examine my own conscience and ask Jesus’ forgiveness.
  2. I will treat every person as Jesus treated this woman.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Has no one condemned you? Then, neither do I.

MARCH 6, 2016 – WEEK FOUR OF LENT – SUNDAY – C – THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL

(Luke 15:17-24)

Prayer: O Father, embrace me when I return to you.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

The father’s response to the Prodigal’s return is not a model for earthly fathers. It is how the heavenly father responds to our repentance. The son is reduced to the lowest degree of degradation. He is in contact with unclean animals and unable to keep the Sabbath. Having already received his legal inheritance, the son had no further claim on his father. The father’s actions are unusual and undignified. He runs and embraces the Prodigal.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Coming to his senses, the son thought, “The servants in my father’s house have bread. Here, I am dying from hunger. I will go back and say, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and you. I am not worthy to be called your son. Make me a hired servant.”

When the father saw him a long way off, he was moved to compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. The father said to his servants, “Put the finest robe on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Get the fatted calf and kill it. Let us eat and rejoice. My son was dead and has come to life again. He was lost and is found.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The Son comes to minimum repentance. He realizes that he has sinned against God and his father.
  2. He is strongly motivated because he sees that he could do better in his father’s house.
  3. The father needs no words of repentance. He experiences great joy in having him back.
  4. The father has one thought. He must reestablish the son to his former status.
  5. The father explains to his servants that his actions flow from his feelings.
  6. His thinking is clearly described. “My son was dead and has come to life. He was lost and has been found.”

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. God, even though my reasons to return to you are selfish, you overlook that.
  2. To think of returning to you fills me with hope.
  3. I walk to you but you run to me.
  4. I try to speak, but you will not hear of it.
  5. I want to work, but you want to celebrate.
  6. It is as if I have never left. May I never walk out on you again!
  7. You bestow a fullness. You hold nothing back. Your love for me restores me completely.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. God’s mercy calls me to return. I will not delay.
  2. I will not fear meeting God. He will run to me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

“My son was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and is found.”

FEBRUARY 28, 2016 – WEEK THREE OF LENT – SUNDAY – C – THE FIG TREE

(Luke 13:6-9)

Prayer – O Lord Jesus, let me use this extra time to repent and receive the Kingdom.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)

Context:

Although the judgment is inevitable, God marvelously extends the time for repentance. The Fig Tree parable teaches that in Palestine, the owner allowed three years for a gif tree to grow. In the parable, another three years has passed, a total of six years. The owner’s patience is past its limits, yet his mercy grants a stay of execution. When this extra year is over, no human power can prolong the time of salvation.

The fig tree absorbs large amounts of nourishment, thus depriving surrounding vines of their needed sustenance. Fertilizing a fig tree is highly unusual. This tree, therefore, will receive special, unmerited care.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

A man planted a fig tree in his vineyard and came to gather its fruit. He said to the gardener, “For three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and have found none. So, cut it down. Why should it continue to exhaust the soil?”

The gardener answered him, “Lord, let it alone for one year more. I will dig around it and put manure on it. Hopefully, it will bear fruit. If not, then you can cut it down.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The vineyard represents all of creation. The fig tree is each person.
  2. Three years represents a fullness of time, certainly enough for the fig tree to blossom.
  3. The owner’s expectations are reasonable. A fig tree should produce figs.
  4. His decision to cut down the tree is just. He has sought fruit for three years.
  5. Even so, he will give the tree more time. It will even receive the special care of manure to nourish it.
  6. However, even the farmer’s mercy cannot totally excuse the fig tree. It must respond to all these helps and produce life.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. God, you have given me so many graces and for such a long time.
  2. You ask only that I produce virtues according to my state in life.
  3. Jesus, how patient you have been with me. Year after year you came looking for virtues.
  4. You give me your choicest graces, surrounding me with every possible help.
  5. Jesus, I will delay no longer. I will choose a devout life and bring forth virtues.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. I will see all that God has provided.
  2. I will no longer delay. I will no longer put off my decision. I know what God is calling me to do.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

“Lord, give it another year. If it bears no fruit, then cut it down.”

FEBRUARY 21, 2016 – WEEK TWO OF LENT – SUNDAY – C – THE TRANSFIGURATION

(Luke 9:27-36)

Prayer: O Jesus, take me up the mountain with you.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus transfigured in glory with his 3 apostles.)

Context:

Peter has just proclaimed (by faith) that Jesus is the Messiah. Now, these three apostles experience Jesus as the Messiah. Also, the Father says that Jesus is his “Beloved Son”, the same title given at Jesus’ Baptism. Elijah and Moses appear. They, too, share in Jesus’ fullness. All of these religious experiences confirm that Jesus is the Messiah.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain to pray. While he was praying, his face changed in appearance and his clothes became dazzlingly white. Suddenly, two men were talking with him – Moses and Elijah. They appeared in glory and spoke of his passage which he was about to fulfill in Jerusalem. Peter and those with him had fallen asleep. When they woke, they saw his glory and the two men with him. As the two men were leaving, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He did not realize what he said.

A cloud overshadowed them. They were afraid as Moses and Elijah entered into the cloud. A voice came out of the cloud and said, “This is my Beloved Son, listen to him.” Then, they were alone with Jesus. The disciples kept quiet, telling nothing of what they had seen to anyone.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The three apostles had no idea where Jesus was taking them.       They just followed him in faith.
  2. Upon arriving, they had the greatest possible religious experience. They saw Jesus in his glory.
  3. Even more, Moses and Elijah speak with Jesus about his future death in Jerusalem.
  4. Peter experiences overwhelming joy. He wants to erect three tents and stay there.
  5. The Father enters the scene with a clear message. Jesus is his Son and they must listen.
  6. The holiness and power of God overwhelm them.
  7. Fortunately, when all is over, Jesus remains with them.
  8. The gift remains locked in their hearts until after Jesus rises from the dead.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. O Jesus, every morning I will ascend the mountain of prayer.
  2. I will meet you, Jesus. I will see your glory and you will claim my heart.
  3. You are the center of all history. You are the whole purpose of my life.
  4. The Father speaks. I hear his words. He tells me who you are.
  5. O Jesus, I will listen only to you.
  6. Your glory fills me with a fear. Let me never be separated from you.
  7. O Jesus, stay with me.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. I will be faithful to daily mental prayer.
  2. I will remain with Jesus, never walking away from him.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

While he was praying, his face was changed in appearance.

FEBRUARY 14, 2016 – WEEK ONE OF LENT – SUNDAY – C – THE THREE TEMPTATIONS

(Luke 4:1-13)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to remain faithful to you in all my temptations.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus tempted by Satan.)

Context:

These temptations show that Jesus experienced temptations just as we do. By going into the desert, Jesus is like the Israelites who spent forty years there. However, they constantly failed and many never entered the Promised Land. In contrast, Jesus triumphs over Satan and gains the Kingdom of Heaven for us.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert. He was there forty days and was tempted by the devil. Since he ate nothing, when the days were over he was hungry. The devil said, “If you are the Son of God, say to this stone that it become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written that man does not live on bread alone but on every word of God.”

The devil led him to a high mountain, and in a single instant showed him all the Kingdoms of the world. He said, “I will give you all this power and all this glory, for they are mine and I give them to whomever I will. Just adore me and they are all yours”. Jesus said in reply, “You shall adore the Lord your God and him alone shall you serve.”   He brought Jesus to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, because it is written, ‘He has given his angels charge over you. In their hands they will lift you up so you do not dash your foot against the stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” When these temptations were over, the devil left him for a time.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus is both “full of the Spirit” and “led by the Spirit”. He was totally obedient to the Spirit.
  2. The Spirit allows Jesus to be tempted, knowing that he will win the victory.
  3. Sure enough, Satan takes the bait. He is in for a surprise.
  4. Since Jesus is hungry, Satan offers him food.
  5. Jesus’ hunger is for God’s word.
  6. The devil offers him all the world’s glory.
  7. However, the Father claims Jesus’ heart and worldly glory means nothing.
  8. Jesus is invited to avoid the cross. A miraculous saving by angels will convince all that Jesus is the Messiah.
  9. Jesus refuses to abandon the Father’s plan. The Kingdom will come by the cross.
  10. Satan leaves. He waits for another chance. He will be there at Calvary.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. O Holy Spirit, fill me and lead me.
  2. O Jesus, you want me to win the victory.
  3. Help me to conquer my sensual appetites.
  4. O Jesus, what is worldly glory compared to the glory of your Kingdom?
  5. You already own the world. You are Lord of heaven and earth.
  6. O Jesus, you send your angels to protect me.
  7. Together, we will win the victory.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. I will avoid all temptations.
  2. While being tempted, I will remember the word of God.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

When the temptations were over, the devil left him.

FEBRUARY 7, 2016 – WEEK FIVE – SUNDAY (C) – THE CATCH OF FISH

(Luke 5:4 -11)

Prayer – Let me see, O Lord, how unworthy I am to be your disciple.

Imagination – (Picture Peter kneeling at Jesus’ feet and proclaiming his own sinfulness.)

Context:

This miraculous catch of fish is but a prelude to the high point of the story. While seeing the miracle, Peter receives a great light which reveals his sins. At this repentant moment, Jesus confers upon Peter his lifelong vocation – to bring people into the Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and lower your nets for a catch”. Simon answered, “Master, we have labored all night and have caught nothing, but at your word, I will lower the net.” When they had done this, they caught such a great number of fish that their nets were breaking. So, they called to their partners in the other boat to come and help. They came and both boats were filled until they almost sank.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man”. He was totally amazed at the large catch of fish. Jesus said to Simon, “From now on you will catch men.” When they came to shore, they left everything to follow Jesus.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus can bestow these favors because Peter was obedient to him.
  2. Peter must overcome his natural feelings that this will be a useless task.
  3. The astonishing results open his eyes. He sees Jesus as God’s instrument.
  4. In the revealing light of Jesus’ holiness, Peter sees his sins.
  5. He calls Jesus “Lord” and knows that he is not worthy.
  6. Jesus sees things differently. He wants the humbled, repentant Peter to be with him always and to share in his task.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. O Jesus, I will always obey you. This opens the door to every blessing.
  2. O Jesus, help me to set aside my natural feelings so I can do your will.
  3. Open my eyes. Reveal to me your glory.
  4. In your holiness, I will see my sinfulness. What a gift!
  5. You are “Lord” and I am your unworthy servant.
  6. You have a task for me. Whatever it is, I will do it.
  7. Call me. Instruct me. I will be with you always.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. Where in my life do I not obey Jesus? I will change that decision.
  2. Today, I will listen for Jesus’ voice to direct my choices.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Seeing this catch of fish, Simon Peter fell to his knees.

JANUARY 31, 2016 – WEEK FOUR – SUNDAY – C – REJECTION AT NAZARETH

(Luke 4:21-30)

Prayer – O Lord, never let me reject you.

Imagination(Picture Jesus confronted by the angry citizens of Nazareth.)

Context:

The mood of the crowd changes suddenly from acceptance to rejection because they want to see miracles. Jesus recounts two stories in which the prophets worked no miracles for Jews, but did help non-Jewish people. The crowd tries to kill Jesus but it is not yet his hour.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “Today this passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke favorably of him and marveled at the words which came from his mouth. Yet, they said, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” Jesus said, “You will say, ‘Physician, heal yourself. We have heard about the great things you have done in Capernaum. Do them here in your own country.’”

He continued, “I say to you. A prophet is without honor only in his native place. I say in truth. There were many widows in the days of Elijah in Israel, when the heavens were closed for three years and six months and there was great famine on the earth. To none of these was Elijah sent except to the widow at Zarephath near Sidon. There were many lepers in the time of Elisha the prophet, but he cleansed none except Namaan, the Syrian.

When those in the synagogue heard these things they grew angry. They brought Jesus out of the city to the edge of a hill, so they could throw him down. But he passed through their midst and went his way.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. These people of Nazareth have an obstacle to accepting Jesus as a prophet. They knew him as a little boy, as the son of Joseph. These memories close their minds.
  2. The people feel that they have a right to Jesus’ miracles.       After all, he grew up in Nazareth.
  3. Jesus cites Elijah and Elisha who worked miracles for foreigners but none for Israel.
  4. This rebuke stirs them to anger and to an attempt to kill Jesus.
  5. The Father wants Jesus to die in Jerusalem, where all will witness his sacrifice.
  6. Because it rejects Jesus, Nazareth receives no blessing.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. O Jesus, I have so many obstacles. Remove them all.
  2. I accept you, Jesus. I open my heart wide. I am yours.
  3. I am rich only because you blessed me. All that I have comes from you.
  4. Your favors are for everyone. You push no one aside.       You look with love, even upon me.
  5. Poor Nazareth, deprived of your blessings. Woe is me if I reject you and lose your Kingdom.
  6. Teach me patience. Often I do not understand your ways.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)

  1. I will seek Jesus today with childlike faith.
  2. I will believe that I will receive favors and I will use them well.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Jesus passed through their midst and went his way.

JANUARY 10, 2016 – BAPTISM OF THE LORD – C – BAPTIZING WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

(Luke 3:15-16; 21-22)

Prayer: Holy Spirit, pour out your fire.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus after his baptism.)

Context:

In Luke, the crowds play a large role. They are filled with anticipation. Also, they get baptized before Jesus does. The two central points are Jesus’ power to baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire, and the heavenly manifestations of the Spirit and the Father.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The crowd was wondering, thinking in their hearts that John perhaps might be the Messiah. John answered, saying to all, “I, indeed, baptize with water, but there shall come someone mightier than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to tie. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus was at prayer after he had been baptized, the heavens were opened. The Holy Spirit descended in the visible form of a dove. A voice came from heaven saying, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. John turns the spotlight away from himself.
  2. His task is to prepare for Jesus.
  3. He minimizes his own power to baptize with water.
  4. He promises a more powerful person who will baptize in the Spirit.
  5. According to God’s plan, Jesus comes to the Jordan as god had planned.
  6. After his Baptism, the Holy Spirit remains on Jesus as a permanent anointing.
  7. The Father’s voice confirms Jesus as his beloved.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. Jesus, prepare my heart for you.
  2. Pour out your Spirit upon me.
  3. Teach me to know and follow the Father’s plan.
  4. When You open the heavens all your graces fall on me.
  5. Spirit, remain upon me.
  6. Father, I also will exalt your Son.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. I will ask for the Holy Spirit.
  2. I will try to be the Father’s beloved child.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The Spirit descended and remained on him.

NOVEMBER 29, 2015 – WEEK THREE OF ADVENT – SUNDAY (C) – FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE

(Luke 21:34-36)

Prayer: O Jesus, teach me to watch and to pray constantly.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus in the temple teaching his disciples.)

Context:

These are Jesus’ final words of teaching before the Last Supper. Jesus is worried. He will not be returning to earth soon. The disciples will wonder why he delays. So, he exhorts them not to grow indulgent, not to give up prayer or their high moral standards. His final words are an important reminder. Whether it is sooner or later, all the world will stand before him.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Be on guard, lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares, and that day come upon you suddenly, like a trap. That day will come upon the whole earth.

Watch, therefore. Pray at all times, so you may have the strength to escape what will happen and to stand secure before the Son of Man.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. “That day”, means the moment when all will be judged by Jesus.
  2. Because this second Coming didn’t happen right away, some disciples abandoned their devout life and their watchfulness.
  3. They became indifferent, drunk and involved with worldly cares.
  4. They fell into a trap which entangles everyone who sets aside Jesus’ Kingdom. Inevitably they will be caught.
  5. Jesus explains the remedy. They must watch their conduct and pray constantly.
  6. Jesus’ coming is inevitable. History will end in this way. All must seek one thing – to stand secure before the Son of Man.
  7. These are Jesus’ final words. Remember them.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  1. Jesus, what a day that will be, when every human person will stand before you.
  2. O Lord, how quickly my life will pass. Do not let me fall into indulgence or give my heart to worldly cares.
  3. I will watch with you. That is what you ask of me.
  4. Teach me to pray. Teach me to pray constantly.
  5. How will I be secure on that day, Jesus? I know. I will live always in your hands.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. Where am I indulgent and entangled in worldly cares?
  2. I will pray mentally every day.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Pray constantly for the strength to stand before the Son of Man.