Saturday, January 8, 2011

Revelation

Revelation 1:1-4; 2:1-5a

#497 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time)

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him,
to show his servants what must happen soon.
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
who gives witness to the word of God
and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud
and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message
and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near
.
John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace
from him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits before his throne.

I heard the Lord saying to me:
“To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this:

“‘The one who holds the seven stars in his right hand
and walks in the midst of the seven gold lampstands says this:
“I know your works, your labor, and your endurance,
and that you cannot tolerate the wicked;
you have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not,
and discovered that they are impostors.
Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name,
and you have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you:
you have lost the love you had at first.
Realize how far you have fallen.
Repent, and do the works you did at first.
Otherwise, I will come to you
and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”’”
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Commentary on Rv 1:1-4; 2:1-5

The first part of this passage from Revelation (Revelation 1:1-4) makes it appear as if this were a normal letter to the Churches of Asia. Only the introduction and salutation reflect this form. The seven Churches being referred to are in the Roman Province of Asia which was western Turkey. The specific Churches being referred to are mentioned in Revelation 1:11: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Each one of these gets their own injunction, like the one to Ephesus which is included in this selection.

Ephesus is given praise and criticism along with a warning that, if they do not revert to their previous charismatic love for one another, their “lampstand” (the symbol of the presence of Christ) will be removed. Important in the commendation to the Ephesians is their steadfastness, and their ability to reject false apostles.

CCC: Rv 1:4 1403, 2854; Rv 2-3 401; Rv 2:5 1429
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Revelation 1:5-8

#260 Weekday Years I & II Context (Mass of Chrism)

#161B Solemnities B Context (The Solemnity of Christ the King B)

#970 Votive Mass Context (The Mystery of the Holy Cross, Third Option)

#977 Votive Mass Context (The Most Holy Eucharist, Third Option)

#990 Votive Mass Context (The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ [During the Easter Season], 1.)

[Grace to you and peace] from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his Blood,
who has made us into a Kingdom, priests for his God and Father,
to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he is coming amid the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament him.
Yes. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
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Commentary on Rv 1:5-8

This vision of St. John of the return of Jesus as King is very straightforward. One of the more significant verses is: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.'" Alpha and Omega are first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. These words are used again later in Revelation (Revelation 22:13) and were predicted by Isaiah (Isaiah 41:4), a clear reference to Christ’s Kingship.

CCC: Rv 1:6 1546, 2855; Rv 1:8 2854
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Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19

#45C Solemnities C Context (2nd Sunday of Easter C [Divine Mercy Sunday])

I, John, your brother, who share with you
the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance we have in Jesus,
found myself on the island called Patmos
because I proclaimed God’s word and gave testimony to Jesus.
I was caught up in spirit on the Lord’s day
and heard behind me a voice as loud as a trumpet, which said,
“Write on a scroll what you see.”
Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me,
and when I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands
and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man,
wearing an ankle-length robe, with a gold sash around his chest.

When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead.
He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid.
I am the first and the last, the one who lives.
Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.
I hold the keys to death and the netherworld.
Write down, therefore, what you have seen,
and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards.”
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Commentary on Rv 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19

We are given St. John’s first vision from his revelation. He is instructed to write down all he sees for the seven churches of his time (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea). The "Lamp Stand" reference may also be reminiscent of the Menorah, the light burning before God in the Temple. We also note that the vision of the Son of Man bears a striking resemblance to St. Faustina’s vision of the risen Lord.

The evangelist's actions can be seen as a traditional response to standing in the presence of God.  Historically it was thought that one coming into God's presence would die instantly.  St. John is reassured that the Risen Lord has indeed conquered death, and now lives forever at the right hand of the Father. (“Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld.”)

CCC: Rv 1:17 612; Rv 1:18 625, 633, 635, 2854
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Revelation 2:8-11

#536 Proper of Saints Context (St. Polycarp, Feb 23)

"To the angel of the Church in Smyrna, write this:

'"The first and the last, who once died but came to life, says this:
"I know your tribulation and poverty, but you are rich.
I know the slander of those who claim to be Jews and are not,
but rather are members of the assembly of Satan.
Do not be afraid of anything that you are going to suffer.
Indeed, the Devil will throw some of you into prison,
that you may be tested,
and you will face an ordeal for ten days.
Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

'""Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
The victor shall not be harmed by the second death."'"
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Commentary on Rv 2:8-11

This passage from St. John’s Revelation is the second of the letters to the seven churches. Smyrna, following Ephesus, was the second most important commercial center and the home to a large and persecuted Christian population. The Christians came from a less affluent population which is why there is a reference to their poverty. The context of the letter is encouraging them to remain faithful even in the face of persecution. St. John envisions a short but intense period of turmoil (“…you will face an ordeal for ten days”) that for some will culminate in physical death (“…the second death” the first “death” being death to sin in Baptism).

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Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22

#498 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 33rd Year in Ordinary Time)

I, John, heard the Lord saying to me:
“To the angel of the Church in Sardis, write this:

“‘The one who has the seven spirits of God
and the seven stars says this: “I know your works,
that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die,
for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent.
If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief,
and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.
However, you have a few people in Sardis
who have not soiled their garments;
they will walk with me dressed in white,
because they are worthy.

“‘The victor will thus be dressed in white,
and I will never erase his name from the book of life
but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father
and of his angels.

“‘Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

“To the angel of the Church in Laodicea, write this:

“‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the source of God’s creation, says this:
“I know your works;
I know that you are neither cold nor hot.
I wish you were either cold or hot.
So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of my mouth.
For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’
and yet do not realize that you are wretched,
pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich,
and white garments to put on
so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed,
and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.
Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise.
Be earnest, therefore, and repent.

“‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
then I will enter his house and dine with him,
and he with me.

I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne,
as I myself first won the victory
and sit with my Father on his throne.

“‘Whoever has ears ought to hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
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Commentary on Rv 3:1-6, 14-22

St. John addresses his vision to two more of the seven churches of Asia (the Asian Province of Rome), Sardis[4] and Laodicea[5]. In the case of Sardis, he reprimands them for backsliding. Apparently the community had been reduced in numbers to a point where it is in danger of disappearing. The evangelist tells them that the few that remained faithful would be rewarded for their steadfastness.

At Laodicea the Apostle criticized them for lack of zeal for the faith. He says: “I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot.” He bases this observation upon their works, indicating that while they profess Christ Jesus, their actions are not reflecting that conviction.

CCC: Rv 3:14 1065
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Revelation 3:14b, 20-22

#565 Proper of Saints Context (St. John I, May 18)

#738 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

#797 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying, 2. Viaticum, Third Option)

#812 Ritual Mass Context (VIII. For the Consecration of Virgins and Religious Profession, 15.)

#853 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 7. For Religious, 6.)

#996 Votive Mass Context (The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 1.)

"'The Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the source of God's creation, says this:

""'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
then I will enter his house and dine with him
and he with me.
I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne,
as I myself first won the victory
and sit with my Father on his throne.

""'Whoever has ears ought to hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.""'
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Commentary on Rv 3:14b, 20-22

St. John addresses the Church of Laodicea [3]. His principle thrust is the lack of zeal for the faith they have shown. In this passage, the vision of St. John conveys the idea of the Holy Spirit reaching out to the Church, asking her to be strong and valorous in faith, inviting them to share God’s ultimate victory.

CCC: Rv 3:14 1065
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Revelation 4:1-11

#499 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time)

I, John, had a vision of an open door to heaven,
and I heard the trumpet-like voice
that had spoken to me before, saying,
“Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterwards.”
At once I was caught up in spirit.
A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one
whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian.
Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald.
Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones
on which twenty-four elders sat,
dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads.
From the throne came flashes of lightning,
rumblings, and peals of thunder.
Seven flaming torches burned in front of the throne,
which are the seven spirits of God.
In front of the throne was something that resembled
a sea of glass like crystal.

In the center and around the throne,
there were four living creatures
covered with eyes in front and in back.
The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf,
the third had a face like that of a man,
and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight.
The four living creatures, each of them with six wings,
were covered with eyes inside and out.
Day and night they do not stop exclaiming:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and who is, and who is to come.”
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks
to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
the twenty-four elders fall down
before the one who sits on the throne
and worship him, who lives forever and ever.
They throw down their crowns before the throne, exclaiming:

“Worthy are you, Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
because of your will they came to be and were created.”
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Commentary on Rv 4:1-11

This reading is the entire text of Chapter 4 of St. John’s Revelation. First we see the heavenly court in worship. The twenty-four elders would represent the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles. Much of what is described here is taken from the apocalyptic literature in the Old Testament, specifically Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:22-26), Tobit (Tobit 12:15), and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:2). The special effects, flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder are representations of God’s activity. The addition of the eyes to the four living creatures represents God’s omnipresent vision and concern for mankind. The principal focus of this chapter, in addition to providing imagery of the heavenly court, is to give a sense of God’s majesty and omnipotence.

CCC: Rv 4-5 1138; Rv 4:2 1137; Rv 4:6-11 662; Rv 4:8-11 2642; Rv 4:11 295, 2855
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Revelation 5:1-10

#500 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time)

I, John, saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.
It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals.
Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice,
“Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth
was able to open the scroll or to examine it.
I shed many tears because no one was found worthy
to open the scroll or to examine it.
One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep.
The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed,
enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.”

Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne
and the four living creatures and the elders
a Lamb that seemed to have been slain.
He had seven horns and seven eyes;
these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world.
He came and received the scroll from the right hand
of the one who sat on the throne.
When he took it,
the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders
fell down before the Lamb.
Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense,
which are the prayers of the holy ones.
They sang a new hymn:

“Worthy are you to receive the scroll
and break open its seals,
for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God
those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.
You made them a kingdom and priests for our God,
and they will reign on earth.”
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Commentary on Rv 5:1-10

The seer (John) now describes a papyrus scroll in God's right hand with seven seals, indicating the importance of the message. A mighty angel asks who is worthy to open the scroll: who can accomplish God's salvific plan. There is despair at first when no one in creation can do it. But the seer is comforted by an elder who tells him that Christ (“The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David”) has won the right to open it. Expecting to see a lion, John turns to see Christ then appearing as a Lamb, coming to receive the scroll from God, for which he is acclaimed as at a coronation.[6]

CCC: Rv 5:6 1137
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Revelation 5:6-12

#970 Votive Mass Context (The Mystery of the Holy Cross, [During the Easter Season], Fourth Option)

#996 Votive Mass Context (The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, [During the Easter Season], 2.)

I, John, saw standing in the midst of the throne
  and the four living creatures and the elders
  a Lamb that seemed to have been slain.
He had seven horns and seven eyes;
  these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world.
He came and received the scroll
  from the right hand of the One who sat on the throne.
When he took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders
  fell down before the Lamb.
Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense,
  which are the prayers of the holy Ones.
They sang a new hymn:
  "Worthy are you to receive the scroll
    and to break open its seals,
    for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God
    those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.
  You made them a kingdom and priests for our God,
    and they will reign on earth."
I looked again and heard the voices of many angels
  who surrounded the throne
  and the living creatures and the elders.
They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice:
    "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
      to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength,
      honor and glory and blessing."
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Commentary on Rev 5:6-12

John sees Christ appear as a lamb (this is the first of 28 times the Lord appears as a lamb in Revelation. CCC 608, 1137).  His appearance "... seven horns and seven eyes" represent the totality of power (Psalm 89:17) and knowledge (Zechariah 4:1-10) possessed by Christ.  "The Lamb receives the same worship given to the Lord God (4:11), indicating that he, too, is divine (19:10).  The words of the song recall the Exodus, when Yahweh redeemed Israel (Exodus 15:13) by the shed blood of pascal lambs (Exodus 12:21-27) to be a kingly and priestly nation (Exodus 19:6). Here it celebrates the new Exodus accomplished by Christ, the new Passover Lamb, whose blood ransoms all nations from sin and consecrates them to serve him as a royal priesthood (Revelations 1:6; 1 Peter 2:9) (CCC 608, 1546)."[9]

CCC: Rv 5:6 1137; Rv 5:9-14 2642; Rv 5:9-10 1546
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Revelation 5:11-14

#48C Solemnities C Context(3rd Sunday of Easter C)

I, John, looked and heard the voices of many angels
who surrounded the throne
and the living creatures and the elders.
They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength,
honor and glory and blessing.”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth
and under the earth and in the sea,
everything in the universe, cry out:
“To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor, glory and might,
forever and ever.”
The four living creatures answered, “Amen, “
and the elders fell down and worshiped.
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Commentary on Rv 5:11-14

The profuse adoration and praise for the Lamb is referring to an earlier question. The Chapter begins with: "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" (referring to God’s scroll fixed with seven seals). The scroll in this case represents God’s plan for salvation. The angels, who act as an honor guard, reply listing all (7) of those blessings which apply to God. So the response we hear in our scripture today answers that question: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing."

CCC: Rv 5:9-14 2642; Rv 5:9-10 1546; Rv 5:13 449, 2855
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Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14

#667 Solemnities ABC Context (Solemnity of All Saints, Nov 1)

#828 Mass for Various Needs Context (I For The Holy Church, 1 For the Church, 7.)

I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
“Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”
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Commentary on Rv 7:2-4, 9-14

St. John’s vision of the heavenly kingdom unfolds in this passage with an image of those who have gone from this life to the next, and now stand before the throne of God. “A seal is a mark of ownership and protection. Here the seal of God is related to the seals of the scroll, giving protection to the believing remnant of Israel, who will pass through the tribulation. This may refer to a grace of spiritual perseverance rather than a guarantee of physical survival. In the broader context of Revelation, there is a contrast between the seal of God stamped on the foreheads of the righteous and the mark of the beast inscribed on the brows of the wicked (Revelation 13:16). The former bears the divine name of God (Revelation 14:1; 22:4) while the latter bears the demonic name of the beast (CCC 1296). […] The entire scene parallels Ezekiel 9:1-7 where the messenger seals the foreheads of the righteous in Israel to protect them from the wrath of God poured out on Jerusalem. The seal was shaped like the Hebrew letter taw, which in ancient script looked like a cross (x or +).”[3]

Hebrew numerology provides the number, one hundred and forty-four thousand (from each of the tribes of Israel) representing a huge number (1,000 times 12 times 12), possibly a number of completeness, and follows that with uncounted saints from the Gentiles beginning with the martyrs (those who have washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb). ” The blood of the Lamb, who has been offered in sacrifice for all, has exercised its universal and most effective redemptive power in every corner of the earth, extending grace and salvation to that 'great multitude'. After undergoing the trials and being purified in the blood of Christ, they - the redeemed - are now safe in the Kingdom of God, whom they praise and bless for ever and ever" (Saint John Paul II, "Homily" 1 November 1981).

CCC: Rv 7:2-3 1296; Rv 7:9 775, 1138
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Revelation 7:9, 14b-17

#51C Solemnities C Context (4th Sunday of Easter C)

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.

Then one of the elders said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

“For this reason they stand before God’s throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
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Commentary on Rv 7:9, 14b-17

This part of St. John’s Revelation envisions the Church in heaven glorifying God. He sees a great number “…which no one could count,” a possible allusion to the promise made to Abraham (Genesis 15:5; Hebrews 11:12). The elders explain that, after the final test, those who have endured and remained faithful are wearing white robes. Their robes are white because Christ’s sacrifice has washed them clean, they are freed from sin by his sacrifice (the blood of the lamb).

“Pope John Paul II has commented on this passage as follows: "The people dressed in white robes whom John sees with his prophetic eye are the redeemed, and they form a 'great multitude', which no one could count and which is made up of people of the most varied backgrounds. The blood of the Lamb, who has been offered in sacrifice for all, has exercised its universal and most effective redemptive power in every corner of the earth, extending grace and salvation to that 'great multitude'. After undergoing the trials and being purified in the blood of Christ, they --the redeemed--are now safe in the Kingdom of God, whom they praise and bless for ever and ever" ("Homily", 1 November 1981).”[10]

The selection concludes with a series of images from the Old Testament. Christians will no longer know suffering (see Isaiah 49:10; Psalm 121:6; John 4:14; John 7:37), and they will be shepherded by the Lamb (Psalm 23; Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 24:33; John 10:11-16).[11]

There is a strong connection here between the vision of St. John of those who have suffered persecution (“…survived the time of great distress”) and  St. Paul’s persecution in Antioch (Acts 13:14, 43-52). The imagery also connects to St. John's Gospel as the evangelist makes reference to the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:27-30).

CCC: Rv 7:9 775, 1138
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Revelation 7:9-17

#562 Proper of Saints Context (Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, May 12)

#566A Proper of Saints Context (St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions May 21)+

#714 Commons Context (Common of Martyrs)

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb."

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

"Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
"Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows."
He said to me,
"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

"For this reason they stand before God's throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
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Commentary on Rv 7:9-17

St. John’s vision of the heavenly kingdom unfolds in this passage with an image of those who have gone from this life to the next and now stand before the throne of God. They praise God without ceasing, giving thanks for salvation which comes from the Lamb of God, the Christ. The palm branches recall the Saviors triumphant entry into Jerusalem, here signifying his lordship over the New Jerusalem – God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

“…these wearing white robes” is a reference to martyrs who have given their lives for Christ during the great persecutions of Christians. These, St. John recounts, have received what is known as the “Baptism of Blood”. The Lord “…lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

CCC: Rv 7:9 775, 1138; Rv 7:10-12 2642
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Revelation 7:9-10, 14b-17

878 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 12. For Persecuted Christians, 7.)

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
  which no one could count,
  from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
  wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

  "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
    and from the Lamb.

  "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
  they have washed their robes
  and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

  "For this reason they stand before God's throne
    and worship him day and night in his temple.
    The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
  They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
    nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
  For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them
    and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
    and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

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Commentary on Rev 7:9-10, 14b-17

This part of St. John’s Revelation envisions the Church in heaven glorifying God. He sees a great number “…which no one could count” a possible allusion to the promise made to Abraham (Genesis 15:5Hebrews 11:12).

“Pope John Paul II has commented on this passage as follows: "The people dressed in white robes whom John sees with his prophetic eye are the redeemed, and they form a 'great multitude', which no one could count and which is made up of people of the most varied backgrounds. The blood of the Lamb, who has been offered in sacrifice for all, has exercised its universal and most effective redemptive power in every corner of the earth, extending grace and salvation to that 'great multitude'. After undergoing the trials and being purified in the blood of Christ, they --the redeemed--are now safe in the Kingdom of God, whom they praise and bless for ever and ever" ("Homily", 1 November 1981).”[10]

The vision specifically calls out that salvation comes only from God and Christ "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb."

The selection concludes with a series of images from the Old Testament. Christians will no longer know suffering (see Isaiah 49:10Psalm 121:6John 4:14John 7:37) and the will be shepherded by the Lamb (Psalm 23Isaiah 40:11Ezekiel 24:33John 10:11-16).[11]

CCC: Rv 7:9 775, 1138
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Revelation 7:9-10, 15-17

#1018 Mass for the Dead Context (During the Easter Season, 1.)

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
  which no one could count,
  from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
  wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:
  "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
    and from the Lamb.

"For this reason they stand before God's throne
    and worship him day and night in his temple.
    The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
  They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
    nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
  For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them
    and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
    and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

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Commentary on Rev 7:9-10, 15-17

This part of St. John’s Revelation envisions the Church in heaven glorifying God. He sees a great number “…which no one could count” a possible allusion to the promise made to Abraham (Genesis 15:5Hebrews 11:12).

“Pope John Paul II has commented on this passage as follows: "The people dressed in white robes whom John sees with his prophetic eye are the redeemed, and they form a 'great multitude', which no one could count and which is made up of people of the most varied backgrounds. The blood of the Lamb, who has been offered in sacrifice for all, has exercised its universal and most effective redemptive power in every corner of the earth, extending grace and salvation to that 'great multitude'. After undergoing the trials and being purified in the blood of Christ, they --the redeemed--are now safe in the Kingdom of God, whom they praise and bless for ever and ever" ("Homily", 1 November 1981).”[10]

The vision specifically calls out that salvation comes only from God and Christ "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb."

The selection concludes with a series of images from the Old Testament. Christians will no longer know suffering (see Isaiah 49:10Psalm 121:6John 4:14John 7:37) and the will be shepherded by the Lamb (Psalm 23Isaiah 40:11Ezekiel 24:33John 10:11-16).[11]

CCC: Rv 7:9 775, 1138; Rv 7:10-12 2642
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Revelation 7:9-14 [17]

#977 Votive Mass Context (The Most Holy Eucharist, During the Easter Season, Fourth Option)*
*Note: In the Lectionary, this passage is Revelation 7:9-17.

#990 Votive Mass Context (The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, During the Easter Season, 2.)

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb."

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

"Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
"Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows."
He said to me,
"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

["For this reason they stand before God's throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."]
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Commentary on Rv 7:9-17

St. John’s vision of the heavenly kingdom unfolds in this passage with an image of those who have gone from this life to the next and now stand before the throne of God. They praise God without ceasing, giving thanks for salvation which comes from the Lamb of God, the Christ. The palm branches recall the Saviors triumphant entry into Jerusalem, here signifying his lordship over the New Jerusalem – God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

“…these wearing white robes” is a reference to martyrs who have given their lives for Christ during the great persecutions of Christians. These, St. John recounts, have received what is known as the “Baptism of Blood”. The Lord “…lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

[The longer selection concludes with a series of images from the Old Testament. Christians will no longer know suffering (see Isaiah 49:10Psalm 121:6John 4:14John 7:37) and the will be shepherded by the Lamb (Psalm 23Isaiah 40:11Ezekiel 24:33John 10:11-16).[11]]

CCC: Rv 7:9 775, 1138; Rv 7:10-12 2642
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Revelation 8:3-4

#818 Ritual Mass Context (IX. For the Dedication or Blessing of a Church or an Altar, 2. Dedication of an Altar, During the Easter Season, Second Option)

I, John, saw:
Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a gold censer.
He was given a great quantity of incense to offer,
  along with the prayers of all the holy ones,
  on the gold altar that was before the throne.
The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones
  went up before God from the hand of the angel.
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Commentary on Rv 8:3-4

Immediately following the opening of the Seventh Seal silence ensues signally the End has come (the eschaton).  The vision of the Church in heaven focuses now on the offering of prayers by all the people to God rising like incense from the heavenly altar.

"Like priests on earth, the angels in heaven are liturgical ministers as well as covenant mediators between God and his people. They are vested like priests according to Revelation 15:6, and here they offer as incense the petitions of the faithful. The company of all the saints probably includes those in heaven, such as the martyrs (Revelation 6:9-11) and the multitudes (Revelation 7:13-14) who praise God for his mercy and plead for the judgement of the wicked. The Communion of the Saints is the basis for the intercession of the saints. Just as the faithful pray for one another on earth, so the faithful departed pray for us as they look down from heaven (CCC 954-56). the golden altar: The heavenly counterpart to the altar of incense in the Temple (2 Chronicles 4:19; Luke 1:11)"[12]

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Revelation 10:8-11

#501 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time)

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me.
Then the voice spoke to me and said:
“Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel
who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll.
He said to me, “Take and swallow it.
It will turn your stomach sour,
but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.”
I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and swallowed it.
In my mouth it was like sweet honey,
but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Then someone said to me, “You must prophesy again
about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”
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Commentary on Rv 10:8-11

The small scroll in this passage, according to scripture scholars, predicts the final victory of God’s heavenly host in the battle to come between good and evil. That is the reason it tastes like honey. There will be many who suffer and die in this struggle which is why it sours in the belly (e.g. victory tastes sweet but the cost is difficult to bear). This same symbolism is used in Ezekiel 3:1 as the prophet takes the word of salvation to the people but many reject that word.

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Revelation 11:4-12

#502 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time)

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me:
Here are my two witnesses:
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands
that stand before the Lord of the earth.
If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths
and devours their enemies.
In this way, anyone wanting to harm them is sure to be slain.
They have the power to close up the sky
so that no rain can fall during the time of their prophesying.
They also have power to turn water into blood
and to afflict the earth with any plague as often as they wish.

When they have finished their testimony,
the beast that comes up from the abyss
will wage war against them and conquer them and kill them.
Their corpses will lie in the main street of the great city,
which has the symbolic names “Sodom” and “Egypt,”
where indeed their Lord was crucified.
Those from every people, tribe, tongue, and nation
will gaze on their corpses for three and a half days,
and they will not allow their corpses to be buried.
The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them
and be glad and exchange gifts
because these two prophets tormented the inhabitants of the earth.
But after the three and a half days,
a breath of life from God entered them.
When they stood on their feet, great fear fell on those who saw them.
Then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, “Come up here.”
So they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on.
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Commentary on Rv 11:4-12

We continue St. John’s Revelation with more visions full of symbolic references. Note, he begins talking about two witnesses (who later in the same section are referred to as “prophets”). He borrows his imagery this time from Zechariah 4:8-14. The powers they have are taken from Moses' confrontation with Egypt (drought and water turned to blood).

Again using the Old Testament imagery, he now confronts his modern nemesis, Nero, referring to him as the “beast that comes up from the abyss.” The great city of evil is referred to as "'Sodom' and 'Egypt'." This reference is used throughout the Book of Revelation to symbolize Babylon-Rome. Even the three and a half day period has symbolism for those interested in Hebrew numerology (see the note on Revelation 11:2).

The general sense of this reading is one of the good (followers of Christ) being persecuted by the Romans because of their testimony (“fire comes out of their mouths”). But, because of their faith, they will be resurrected (“…a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here.’”).

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Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

#622 Proper of Saints Context (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Aug 15)

#690A Proper of Saints Context (Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec 12)

#708 Commons Context (Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.”
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Commentary on Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

John’s Book of Revelation provides an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is Queen of Heaven. In the passage, the eschatological symbolism shows Mary giving birth to her son, Jesus. It also depicts Satan, who, knowing the nature of the Lord, puts forces in motion to destroy the child. This portrayal, with images taken from Genesis, and symbols of the twelve tribes of Israel, shows the Christ being born of Mary, and recalls her flight to Egypt. The dragon (which is the first symbol to be depicted) represents the secular governments at the time, Herod and Rome. The final verse of the passage proclaims Jesus as the Christ, “his Anointed.

CCC: Rv 12 1138
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Revelation 12:1-3, 7-12ab, 17

#42O-3 BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians)

A great sign appeared in the sky,
   a woman clothed with the sun,
   with the moon under her feet,
   and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child
   and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
   it was a huge red dragon,
   with seven heads and ten horns,
   and on its heads were seven diadems.

War broke out in heaven;
   Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
   but they did not prevail
   and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
   who is called the Devil and Satan,
   who deceived the whole world,
   was thrown down to earth,
   and its angels were thrown down with it.
Then I, John, heard a loud voice in heaven say:
   "Now have salvation and power come,
   and the kingdom of our God
   and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters is cast out,
   who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
   and by the word of their testimony;
   love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
   and you who dwell in them."
Then the dragon became angry with the woman
   and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring,
   those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to
     Jesus.
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Commentary on Rv 12:1-3, 7-12ab, 17

This selection from the Book of Revelation is of that same eschatological prophetic genre as that found in Daniel 7:9ff. Here, St. John envisions the battle for heaven, joined by the forces of God led by St. Michael. The battle is considered to be the heart of St. John's Revelation.

The Dragon, representing the Devil forces the Beast (the Roman Empire) to pursue the woman (the Blessed Virgin) and her son (the Messiah), attempting to destroy them and the Church ("... those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus").

The vision makes clear that those who were thought to be from God but who opposed the “anointed one,” Christ, were influenced by Satan. The vision also shows the Devil’s defeat by the blood of the Lamb and God’s victory is assured and the truth will prevail.

CCC: Rv 12 1138; Rv 12:9 391, 2852; Rv 12:11 2853; Rv 12:17 501, 757, 2853
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Revelation 12:7-12ab

#647 Proper of Saints Context (Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels, Sep 29)

War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
who deceived the whole world,
was thrown down to earth,
and its angels were thrown down with it.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them.”
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Commentary on Rv 12:7-12ab

This selection from the Book of Revelation is of that same eschatological prophetic genre as that found in Daniel 7:9ff. Here, St. John envisions the battle for heaven, joined by the forces of God led by St. Michael who is victorious.

The vision makes clear that those who were thought to be from God but who opposed the “anointed one,” Christ, were influenced by Satan, and in the Devil’s defeat by the blood of the Lamb, God’s victory is assured and the truth will prevail.

CCC: Rv 12 1138; Rv 12:9 391, 2852; Rv 12:11 2853
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Revelation 12:10-12a

#550 Proper of Saints Context (St. Stanislaus, Apr 11)

#714 Commons Context (Common of Martyrs)

I, John, heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them."
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Commentary on Rv 12:10-12a

St. John refers in this passage to the “accuser,” in Hebrew “Satan,” who was cast down when Christ defeated death. His accusation was directed at the disciples. In the final sentences reference is made to the martyrdom of the Apostles, of whom St. John was the youngest and last (and the only one not martyred).

CCC:Rv 12 1138; Rv 12:11 2853
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Revelation 14:1-3, 4b-5

#503 Weekday Year II Context (Monday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time)

I, John, looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion,
and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand
who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
I heard a sound from heaven
like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder.
The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.
They were singing what seemed to be a new hymn before the throne,
before the four living creatures and the elders.
No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand
who had been ransomed from the earth.
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.
They have been ransomed as the first fruits
of the human race for God and the Lamb.
On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.
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Commentary on Rv 14:1-3, 4b-5

The symbolism is clear in this passage from the Revelation of St. John. Mount Zion represents the heavenly kingdom, and the Lamb of God, Jesus.  In the context of St. John’s numerology the numbers are significant: “One hundred and forty-four thousand: the square of twelve (the number of Israel's tribes) multiplied by a thousand, symbolic of the new Israel (cf Revelation 14:1-5; Galatians 6:16; James 1:1)." [7]  This symbolism embraces people from every nation, race, people, and tongue (Revelation 7:9). These faithful and unblemished (” On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished”) seem to be the saintly nucleus that forms the immediate worshipers of the Christ.

CCC: Rv 14:1 1138, 2159; Rv 14:4 778, 1618
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Revelation 14:13

#1012 Mass for the Dead Context (During the Easter Season, 2.)

I, John, heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this:
  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
"Yes," said the Spirit,
  "let them find rest from their labors,
  for their works accompany them."
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Commentary on Rv 14:13

St. John hears the voice from heaven offering hope for those who have died.  Christ has conquered sin and death and has opened the gates of heaven once more. Those who die in Christ will find rest with them for their good works go with them (see also Romans 2:6-10)

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Revelation 14:14-19

#504 Weekday Year II Context (Tuesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time)

I, John, looked and there was a white cloud,
and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man,
with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
Another angel came out of the temple,
crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud,
“Use your sickle and reap the harvest,
for the time to reap has come,
because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.”
So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth,
and the earth was harvested.

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven
who also had a sharp sickle.
Then another angel came from the altar, who was in charge of the fire,
and cried out in a loud voice
to the one who had the sharp sickle,
“Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth’s vines,
for its grapes are ripe.”
So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage.
He threw it into the great wine press of God’s fury.
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Commentary on Rv 14:14-19

St. John’s apocalyptic vision shows us the image of Jesus (one who looked like a son of man) harvesting the earth, bringing the faithful to the Kingdom of God. The vision also makes clear that not everyone will enjoy that salvific event. Some (“He threw it into the great wine press of God’s fury”) will be thrown down, the doom of the ungodly (cf Joel 4:12-13; Isaiah 63:1-6).

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Revelation 15:1-4

#505 Weekday Year II Context (Wednesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time)

I, John, saw in heaven another sign, great and awe-inspiring:
seven angels with the seven last plagues,
for through them God’s fury is accomplished.

Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire.
On the sea of glass were standing those
who had won the victory over the beast
and its image and the number that signified its name.
They were holding God’s harps,
and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and wonderful are your works,
Lord God almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O king of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
or glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
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Commentary on Rv 15:1-4

This part of St. John’s eschatological vision describes the victory of the martyrs (“who had won the victory over the beast and its image and the number that signified its name”). They are singing the same Canticle of Moses we hear in Exodus 15:1-18, as the Hebrew people escape the bondage of Egypt. St. Paul’s vision of the body of Christ applying God’s offer of adoption (and hence salvation) to both Jews and Gentiles is also supported by St. John as he conjoins Moses’ and Jesus’ messages: “…the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.

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Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a

#506 Weekday Year II Context (Thursday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time)

I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven,
having great authority,
and the earth became illumined by his splendor.
He cried out in a mighty voice:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.
She has become a haunt for demons.
She is a cage for every unclean spirit,
a cage for every unclean bird,
a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast.”

A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone
and threw it into the sea and said:

“With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
and will never be found again.
No melodies of harpists and musicians,
flutists and trumpeters,
will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
will ever be heard in you again.
No light from a lamp
will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
all nations were led astray by your magic potion.”

After this I heard what sounded like
the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God,
for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great harlot
who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

They said a second time:

“Alleluia! Smoke will rise from her forever and ever.”

Then the angel said to me, “Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”
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Commentary on Rv 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a

This passage is a “…stirring dirge over the fall of Babylon-Rome. The perspective is prophetic, as if the fall of Rome had already taken place. The imagery here, as elsewhere in this book, is not to be taken literally. The vindictiveness of some of the language, borrowed from the scathing Old Testament prophecies against Babylon, Tyre, and Nineveh (Isaiah 23; 24; 27; Jeremiah 50-51; Ezekiel 26-27), is meant to portray symbolically the inexorable demands of God's holiness and justice; cf Introduction. The section concludes with a joyous canticle on the future glory of heaven.)”[8]

CCC: Rv 19:1-8 2642; Rv 19:1-9 677; Rv 19:9 1329, 1602, 1612
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Revelation 19:1, 5-9a

#563 Proper of Saints Context (St. Pancras, May 12)

#732 Commons Context (Common of Virgins)

#738 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

#752 Ritual Mass Context (I. For the Conferral of Christian Initiation, 1. Catechumenate and Christian Initiation of Adults [Christian Initiation Apart from the Easter Vigil], 13.)

#802 Ritual Mass Context (VI. For the Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage, 13.)

I, John, heard what sounded like the loud voice
of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

"Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God."

Then a voice coming from a heavenly throne said:

"Praise our God, all you his servants,
and you who revere him, small and great."

Then I heard something like the sound of a great multitude
or the sound of rushing water or mighty peals of thunder,
as they said:

"Alleluia!
The Lord has established his reign,
our God, the almighty.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory.
For the wedding day of the Lamb has come,
his bride has made herself ready.
She was allowed to wear
a bright, clean linen garment."

(The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones.)

Then an angel said to me, "Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb."
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Commentary on Rv 19:1, 5-9a

“A victory song follows, sung by the entire church, celebrating the marriage of the Lamb, the union of the Messiah with the community of the elect.” [1]  The significance of this passage as it relates especially to martyrs is the earlier reference to the “white robed” martyrs who have “have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). The wedding feast to which they are invited indicates their reception into the fullness of the Heavenly Kingdom.

CCC: Rv 19:1-8 2642; Rv 19:1-9 677; Rv 19:6 865; Rv 19:7 757, 1602, 1612; Rv 19:9 1329, 1602, 1612
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Revelation 20:1-4, 11—21:2

#507 Weekday Year II Context (Friday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time)

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven,
holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.
He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent,
which is the Devil or Satan,
and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss,
which he locked over it and sealed,
so that it could no longer lead the nations astray
until the thousand years are completed.
After this, it is to be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment.
I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,
and who had not worshiped the beast or its image
nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands.
They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.
The earth and the sky fled from his presence
and there was no place for them.
I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,
and scrolls were opened.
Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.
The dead were judged according to their deeds,
by what was written in the scrolls.
The sea gave up its dead;
then Death and Hades gave up their dead.
All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.
(This pool of fire is the second death.)
Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life
was thrown into the pool of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 20:1-4, 11—21:2

In this selection from John’s Book of Revelation we are given the vision of Christ defeating sin and death (“holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain. He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss”). The thousand years specified is not to be taken literally. Like other numerical references in apocalyptic literature different numbers have different significance (i.e. 7 the perfect number or fullness, 6 the least perfect number, hence 666 the mark of the beast, and 40 the number of years for a generation), this one simply represents a long period of time between Christ’s first victory and his second coming, the Parousia.

We also are given the image of the final judgment, when the dead rise from their graves (I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne) with a list of all they had done, the scrolls. They were judged according to their actions and then either passed to the New Jerusalem or cast into the pool of fire.

"The author then turns his attention to the resurrection, when all men will be judged according to their works.  He describes this by using the metaphor of two books.  One of these records the actions of men (as in Daniel 7:10 and other passages of the Old Testament, cf., e.g., Isaiah 65:6Jeremiah 22:30).  The second book contains the names of those predestined to eternal life (an idea inspired by Daniel 12:1; cf. also, e.g., Exodus 32:32).  This is a way of showing that man cannot attain salvation by his own efforts alone: it is God who saves him: however, he needs to act in such a way that he responds to the destiny God has marked out for him."[13]

Finally comes the new age, and God ruling over it for eternity symbolized by the wedding.

CCC: Rv 20:12 677; Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 21:1-2 756; Rv 21:1 1043; Rv 21:2-4 677; Rv 21:2 757, 1045, 2016
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Revelation 20:11- 21:1

#1012 Mass for the Dead Context (During the Easter Season, 3.)

I, John, saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.
The earth and the sky fled from his presence
  and there was no place for them.
I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,
  and scrolls were opened.
Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.
The dead were judged according to their deeds,
  by what was written in the scrolls.
The sea gave up its dead;
  then Death and Hades gave up their dead.
All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.
(This pool of fire is the second death.)
Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life
  was thrown into the pool of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
  and the sea was no more.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 20:11; 21:1

Following the intermediate reign of Christ, all of the dead are brought before the "large white throne".  We note that the one who sits on the throne is not identified.  In other parts of the book it is God who sits on the throne (Revelation 4:2-9; 5:1,7,3; 6:16; 19:5; 21:5) and in other parts of the New Testament it is the judgement seat of Christ (Matthew 18:35; Romans 14:10).  In still other places it is Christ passing judgement in God's name (Matthew 16:27; John 5:22; Acts 10:42).  The imagery recalls the ivory throne of Solomon in 1 Kings 10:18.  Next the dead who did not participate in the first resurrection (Revelation 20:5) are assembled.

"The author then turns his attention to the resurrection, when all men will be judged according to heir works.  He describes this by using the metaphor of two books.  One of these records the actions of men (as in Daniel 7:10 and other passages of the Old Testament, cf., e.g., Isaiah 65:6; Jeremiah 22:30).  The second book contains the names of those predestined to eternal life (an idea inspired by Daniel 12:1; cf. also, e.g., Exodus 32:32).  This is a way of showing that man cannot attain salvation by his own efforts alone: it is God who saves him: however, he needs to act in such a way that he responds to the destiny God has marked out for him."[13]

The passage concludes offering life to those whose names are written in the book of life; those whose actions show them to follow God, and eternal death of the spirit, "the second death" from which there is no possibility for resurrection.  It is those who must abandon all hope because following this judgement all things pass away and a new era dawns where all is made anew.

CCC: Rv 20:12 677; Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 21:1-2 756; Rv 21:1 1043
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Revelation 21:1-7

#792 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and the Dying, 1. Anointing of the Sick, 16.)

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
  and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
  coming down out of heaven from God,
  prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
  "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
  and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
  and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
  for the old order has passed away."

The one who sat on the throne said,
   "Behold, I make all things new."
Then he said, "Write these words down,
  for they are trustworthy and true."
He said to me, "They are accomplished.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
   the beginning and the end.
To the thirsty I will give a gift
   from the spring of life-giving water.
The victor will inherit these gifts,
   and I shall be his God,
   and he will be my son."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 21:1-7

In this selection from St. John’s Revelation, John has a vision of the “New Heaven” and the New Earth”, after Christ begins his reign at God’s right hand. He envisions a scene similar to that of the Prophet Isaiah whose prophetic vision sees all the old pass away (Isaiah 65:12-25). The New Jerusalem, the image of God’s Church viewed as the bride with Christ the bridegroom. In this New Jerusalem, the Church, God dwells and there he will show his tender mercy (“He will wipe every tear from their eyes”). The old order is washed away; “Behold, I make all things new.” (see also Isaiah 43:18ff2 Corinthians 5:17, and Galatians 6:15)

In v.6 we see vision of St. John of the return of Jesus as King is very straight forward. One of the more significant verses is; "I am the Alpha and the Omega, “says the Lord God, " the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty." The Alpha and Omega are first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, these words are first used used  in Revelation 1:8 and were predicted by Isaiah (Isaiah 41:4), a clear reference to Christ’s Kingship. In his divine mercy confirms his eternal adoption of those he loves, born to him in Baptism, from the "life-giving water."

CCC: Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 21:1-2 756; Rv 21:1 1043; Rv 21:2-4 677; Rv 21:2 757, 1045, 2016; Rv 21:3 756, 2676; Rv 21:4 1044, 1186; Rv 21:5 1044; Rv 21:6 694, 1137; Rv 21:7 2788
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Revelation 21:1-5a,6b-7

#939 Mass for Various Needs Context (III. In various Public Circumstances, 25. In Time of Earthquake or For Rain or For Good Weather or To Avert Storms or For Any Need, Fourth Option)

#1012 Mass for the Dead Context (During the Easter Season, 4.)

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
  and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
  coming down out of heaven from God,
  prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
  "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
  and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
  and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
  for the old order has passed away."

The One who sat on the throne said,
  "Behold, I make all things new.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
  the beginning and the end.
To the thirsty I will give a gift
  from the spring of life-giving water.
The victor will inherit these gifts,
  and I shall be his God,
  and he will be my son."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 21:1-5a,6b-7

In this selection from St. John’s Revelation, John has a vision of the “New Heaven” and the New Earth”, after Christ begins his reign at God’s right hand. The New Jerusalem, the image of God’s Church viewed as the bride with Christ the bridegroom. In this New Jerusalem, the Church, God dwells and there he will show his tender mercy (“He will wipe every tear from their eyes”). The old order is washed away; “Behold, I make all things new.” (see also Isaiah 43:18ff2 Corinthians 5:17, and Galatians 6:15)

In v.6 we see vision of St. John of the return of Jesus as King is very straight forward. One of the more significant verses is; "I am the Alpha and the Omega, “says the Lord God, " the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty." The Alpha and Omega are first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, these words are first used used  in Revelation 1:8 and were predicted by Isaiah (Isaiah 41:4), a clear reference to Christ’s Kingship. In his divine mercy confirms his eternal adoption of those he loves, born to him in Baptism, from the "life-giving water."

CCC: Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 21:1-2 756; Rv 21:1 1043; Rv 21:2-4 677; Rv 21:2 757, 1045, 2016; Rv 21:3 756, 2676; Rv 21:4 1044, 1186; Rv 21:5 1044; Rv 21:6 694, 1137; Rv 21:7 2788
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Revelation 21:1-5a

#54C Solemnities C Context (5th Sunday of Easter C)

#613 Proper of Saints Context (Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Aug 5)

#702 Commons Context (The Common of the Anniversary of the Dedication of a Church)

#708 Commons Context (Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

#732 Commons Context (Common of Virgins)

#816 Ritual Mass Context (IX. For the Dedication of a Church or and Altar [During the Easter Season])

#828 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 1. For the Church, 8.)

#15E BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Resurrection of the Lord, Easter 15)

#20O-I BVM Context (Holy Mary, the New Eve)

#23O-1 BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Temple of the Lord)

#27O-1 BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Image and Mother of the Church, III)

#46O-3 BVM Context (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Gate of Heaven)

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away."

The One who sat on the throne said,
"Behold, I make all things new."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 21:1-5a

In this selection from St. John’s Revelation, John has a vision of the “New Heaven” and the "New Earth,” after Christ begins his reign at God’s right hand. The "New Jerusalem," is the image of God’s Church, viewed as the bride with Christ the bridegroom. In the "New Jerusalem" (the Church), God dwells, and there he will show his tender mercy (“He will wipe every tear from their eyes”). The old order is washed away: “Behold, I make all things new” (see also Isaiah 43:18ff, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Galatians 6:15).

CCC: Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 21:1-2 756; Rv 21:1 1043; Rv 21:2-4 677; Rv 21:2 757, 1045, 2016; Rv 21:3 756, 2676; Rv 21:4 1044, 1186; Rv 21:5 1044
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Revelation 21:1a, 3-5a

#1018 Mass for the Dead Context (Funerals for Baptized Children, During the Easter Season, 2.)

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
  "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
  and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
  and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
  for the old order has passed away."

The One who sat on the throne said,
  "Behold, I make all things new."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 21:1a, 3-5a

In this vision from St. John, the evangelist sees a world renewed by Christ's salvation.  The gates of death have been destroyed and the whole human race is invited to accept God's loving hand and find eternal life in the heavenly kingdom.  Reflecting the promise of Baptism (Ezekiel 36:27) the Father lifts up his faithful ones as a father embraces a child; wiping away every tear, healing every hurt.  Death has been defeated - "the old order has passed away."

The passage concludes with the voice of God; the only time God's voice is quoted in Revelation.  He declares all he has promised will come to be and His peace shall reign eternally.

CCC: Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 21:1-2 756; Rv 21:1 1043; Rv 21:2-4 677; Rv 21:2 757, 1045, 2016; Rv 21:3 756, 2676; Rv 21:4 1044, 1186; Rv 21:5 1044
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Revelation 21:5-7

#553 Proper of Saints Context (St. George, Apr 23)

#714 Commons Context (Common of Martyrs)

#738 Commons Context (Common of Holy Men and Women)

The One who was seated on the throne said:

"Behold, I make all things new."

Then he said, "Write these words down,
for they are trustworthy and true."
He said to me, "They are accomplished.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the beginning and the end.

To the thirsty I will give a gift
from the spring of life-giving water.
The victor will inherit these gifts,
and I shall be his God,
and he will be my son."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 21:5-7

In this passage from the Revelation of St. John, the evangelist speaks of the reign of God having already begun (“I make all things new…” and “They are accomplished”). The “victor[s]” referred to are Christians who have been faithful in the face of trials, and the promise given is the adoption by Christ in Baptism.

CCC: Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 21:5 1044; Rv 21:6 694, 1137; Rv 21:7 2788
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Revelation 21:9b-14

#629 Proper of Saints Context (St. Bartholomew, Aug 24)

#702 Commons Context (The Common of the Anniversary of the Dedication of a Church)

#816 Ritual Mass Context (IX. For the Dedication or Blessing of a Church or an Altar, During Easter Season)

#828 Mass for Various Needs Context (I. For the Holy Church, 1. For the Church, 9.)

The angel spoke to me, saying,
“Come here.
I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,
with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 21:9b-14

God shows St. John the New Jerusalem, Christ’s heavenly kingdom. The Evangelist has borrowed much of his description from Ezekiel (Chapters 40-48). He is taken to a high mountain (Ezekiel 40 2-3) and sees the heavenly vision, as God’s presence transforms his kingdom into a radiant fortress. St. John’s description supports images of evangelization (see 2 Corinthians 4:6). The repeating number 12 (twelve angels, twelve tribes, twelve names) alludes to the perfect continuity between God’s relationship with the Old Testament peoples (Ezekiel 48:30-35 and Exodus 28:17-21) and the Church (Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:29-30). He concludes his vision providing an analogy: the preaching of the Apostles (and Prophets) is to the Church as a foundation is to an edifice (see Ephesians 2:20).

CCC: Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 21:9 757, 865, 1045, 1138; Rv 21:10-11 865; Rv 21:12-14 765; Rv 21:14 857, 865, 869
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23

#57C Solemnities C Context (6th Sunday of Easter C)

The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,

with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

I saw no temple in the city
for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.
The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gave it light,
and its lamp was the Lamb.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 21:10-14, 22-23

God shows St. John the New Jerusalem, Christ’s heavenly kingdom. The Evangelist has borrowed much of his description from Ezekiel (Chapters 40-48). He is taken to a high mountain (Ezekiel 40 2-3) and sees the heavenly vision as God’s presence transforms his kingdom into a radiant fortress. St. John’s description supports images of evangelization (see 2 Corinthians 4:6). The repeating number 12 (twelve angels, twelve tribes, twelve names) alludes to the perfect continuity between God’s relationship with the Old Testament peoples (Ezekiel 48:30-35 and Exodus 28:17-21) and the Church (Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:29-30). He concludes his vision of the city by providing an analogy, the preaching of the Apostles (and Prophets) is to the Church as a foundation is to an edifice (see Ephesians 2:20).

The final verses of this passage differentiate the heavenly Jerusalem from the city on earth.  There is no temple.  God himself, with the Lamb of God, Jesus, are the Holy of Holies, they are the light of the world that illuminates the hearts of the faithful.

CCC: Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 21:10-11 865; Rv 21:12-14 765; Rv 21:14 857, 865, 869; Rv 21:22 586
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Revelation 22:1-7

#508 Weekday Year II Context (Saturday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time)

John said:
An angel showed me the river of life-giving water,
sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God
and of the Lamb down the middle of the street,
On either side of the river grew the tree of life
that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month;
the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.
Nothing accursed will be found anymore.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
and his servants will worship him.
They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun,
for the Lord God shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever and ever.

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true,
and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits,
sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.”
“Behold, I am coming soon.”
Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 22:1-7

This final vision of the heavenly kingdom provides us with the ultimate peaceful setting. God and the Christ, the Lamb of God, preside over the water of life flowing through a land filled with an abundance of good things and nothing evil present.

When the reference is made to the name inscribed on their foreheads: “They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads,” it is a direct corollary to the Hebrew phylactery, small, black leather, cube-shaped cases containing Torah texts written on parchment worn on the forehead to symbolize they had internalized God’s law. (Note: the sign of the beast is in the same place for those who are thrown down.)

Our passage ends, appropriately: “Behold, I am coming soon.” This passage is used on the last day of the liturgical year.

CCC: Rv 21:1-22:5 117; Rv 22:1 1137; Rv 22:4 1023; Rv 22:5 1029
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Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20

#61C Solemnities C Context (7th Sunday of Easter C)

#812 Ritual Mass Context (VIII. For the Consecration of Virgins and Religious Profession, 16.)

I, John, heard a voice saying to me:
“Behold, I am coming soon.
I bring with me the recompense I will give to each
according to his deeds.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are they who wash their robes
so as to have the right to the tree of life
and enter the city through its gates.

“I, Jesus, sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.
I am the root and offspring of David,
the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
Let the hearer say, “Come.”
Let the one who thirsts come forward,
and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.

The one who gives this testimony says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!
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Commentary on Rev 22:12-14, 16-17, 20

This passage (with the exception of v. 21 which says: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all”) concludes the canon of the New Testament.  It is called the “Witness of Jesus,” as St. John hears the Lord's final exhortation.  It becomes a warning to those who hear the Word of God.  “Behold I am coming soon” provides a sense of urgency to embrace the Lord of Life.  Addressed to the seven churches (see Revelation 2:1ff), this witness reaffirms the messianic role as the offspring of David, and is an invitation to eternal salvation, possible only through the God who existed before all else and will exist when all creation finally comes to an end. (“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”)

St. John concludes his Revelation with a prayer that the Lord come may soon arrive, seeking God’s final gift of salvation.  It is noteworthy that the authors of the Missal have omitted v. 15 (“Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the unchaste, the murderers, the idol-worshipers, and all who love and practice deceit.”) which establishes criteria for final salvation.  According to Church teaching, all are given a final opportunity to repent and be saved.

CCC: Rv 22:16 437, 528; Rv 22:17 524, 671, 694, 757, 796, 343, 2550, 2853; Rv 22:20 451, 671, 673, 1343, 1403, 2853
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Revelation 22:17, 20-21

#792 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and the Dying, 1. Anointing of the Sick, 17.(For the Dying))

#797 Ritual Mass Context (V. For the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying, 2. Viaticum, Fourth Option)

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come."
Let the hearer say, "Come."
Let the one who thirsts come forward,
  and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.
The one who gives this testimony says,
  "Yes, I am coming soon."
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Rv 22:17, 20-21

St. John concludes his Revelation with a prayer that the Lord come may soon arrive, seeking God’s final gift of salvation.  It is the Holy Spirit and the "Bride" (the Church) who extend this invitation. The passage concludes with the a final cry, echoed by all who hope in the Lord, that the Lord will come soon bringing his grace and peace to all.  "Come Lord Jesus!: The cry of the saints, who long for Christ's return.  It is probably connected with the liturgical acclamation in 1 Corinthians 16:22, preserved in Aramaic as marana tha, "Our Lord, come!" (CCC 451, 671)."[14]

CCC: Rv 22:17 524, 671, 694, 757, 796, 343, 2550, 2853; Rv 22:20 451, 671, 673, 1343, 1403, 2853; Rv 22:21 1061
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+ Added from the Sacramentary Supplement, provisional number assinged by SOW

[1] See NAB footnote on Revelation 19
[2] Laodicea: ca. forty miles southeast of Philadelphia and ca. eighty miles east of Ephesus, a wealthy industrial and commercial center, with a renowned medical school. It exported fine woolen garments and was famous for its eye salves. It was so wealthy that it was proudly rebuilt without outside aid after the devastating earthquake of A.D. 60/61.
[3] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. pp. 501
[4] Sardis: this city, located ca. thirty miles southeast of Thyatira, was once the capital of Lydia, known for its wealth at the time of Croesus (6th century B.C.). Its citadel, reputed to be unassailable, was captured by surprise, first by Cyrus and later by Antiochus. The church is therefore warned to be on guard.
[5] Laodicea: ca. forty miles southeast of Philadelphia and ca. eighty miles east of Ephesus, a wealthy industrial and commercial center, with a renowned medical school. It exported fine woolen garments and was famous for its eye salves. It was so wealthy that it was proudly rebuilt without outside aid after the devastating earthquake of A.D. 60/61.
[6]See NAB footnote on Revelation 5:1-14
[7]See NAB footnote from Revelation 7:4-9
[8] See NAB footnote for Revelation 18:1-19:4
[9] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. pp. 499
[10] The Navarre Bible: “Revelation and Hebrews and Catholic Letters”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2003, pp. 66-67
[11] Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, Inc., © 1968, 64:42, pp.478
[12] The Navarre Bible: “Revelation and Hebrews and Catholic Letters”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2003, pp. 68
[13] The Navarre Bible: “Revelation and Hebrews and Catholic Letters”, Scepter Publishers, Princeton, NJ, © 2003, pp. 116
[14] Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, © 2010, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, CA. pp. 521


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