Posts Tagged ‘revelation’

I Saw Before Me a Huge Crowd !…

May 27, 2017

” I saw before me a huge crowd which no one could ocunt from every nation and race, people and tongue. They stood before the throne and the Lamb , dressed in long white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, ” Salvation is from our God, who is seated on the throne , and from the Lamb !” All the angels who were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creaturesfell down before the throne to worship God. They said ” Amen, ! priase and glory , wisdom and thanksgiving and honor, Power and might to our God forever and ever Amen !”. ( Revelation 7:9-12)

When I began to look at this passage, I thought to myself. What could one possibly say, or think, or ponder more than what is already written here.

Many in the theological circles I have traveled in, either know little about the book of revelation or sometimes I get the feeling that it is for the clergy, and those in pastoral, and spiritual care circles, much the same feeling one gets as a guitar player, when someone comes up and asks you to play
” Freebird”… now. don’t go get all defensive if your one of those who just can not seem to hear the song enough, and feel like it is your personal anthem.

What I mean is that there are certain questions one gets asked oh, about a trillion times and you really long for something with a little more substance or something different. What Circle of Hell am I in ? Which room in the Interior Castle am I in ? What do you think about that labyrinth thingy ?

Now, don’t get my wrong. I want to encourage everyone in their quest for knowledge, truth, ,and the understanding in their relationship with Christ. It is important, to seek these things, so that you understand what you believe and why. In today’s world we have far to few “educated” Christians, meaning disciples who know what they believe, and why they believe it, and the history and meaning behind that faith.

But I digress..

So what is it about this passage that speaks to us ? What is it about it that sticks out to you ? Most assuredly, and hopefully it will be a little different for you. Why ? Because the scripture speak to us differently, at different times, for different reasons, in order to teach us different things.

While reading the passage , we are taken into the scene. The sheer vastness of the Throne Room, the huge hall, and all of the faithful there praising God in all His spendor. The part however that caught my attention was the mention of the four creatures.. and it really did not seem to make sense to me.

In my search there are those who have described these four creatures in various ways. have connected the creatures to the four creatures from Ezikiel, but those creatures came in a much different scene. In fact there are a few places throughout scripture in the Old Testament where there are 4 creatures mentioned.

The important thing to note is that Revelation like several other books are full of imagery, and symbolism. Its just that Revelation is chocked full of the stuff. I mean literally this is wall to wall imagery. The thing is you have to understand that these revelations are mystical and dream-like and are meant to a certain degree, to speak to the audience it was meant for… the early church.

The other thing is that translations are at work here. The word “creatures” are also used to refer to various options, including angels. The reference changes according to the translator apperantly.
So who were these 4 creatures ? – they are by cross reference to the Old Testament in Daniel and Ezekiel as a Man, Eagle, Lion, and Ox. Great ?! you say ? Now what.. these 4 creatures are actually symbols of the Evangelists of the Synoptic Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
These are born out by such great theologians as Iraneas , St Auguine of Hippo and St. Jerome.

There were the elders.. the communion of Saints.. another great voice and our intercessors in Heaven.
This should give us hope, and confidence not only in our prayer life, but in our intercession. For others, and in turn through the saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It should also give us great confidence in the intercessory prayers of others on our behalf.

What a glorious scene for us, for our future. What fire should fill our hearts and souls as we contemplate the glories of Heaven and of our Heavenly Father.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Suffering and Glory (Part II)

June 27, 2014

The second part of this statement is the best part !

“… Compared with the glory to be revealed for us ”

 

The consolation for the trials we experience in this life are connected to the glory that is to be revealed.  What does this mean for us ?  This is just a foretaste of the things we can expect.  In a cursory reading, some may find that the idea of this glory that will be coming is their heavenly reward, their mansion in Heaven on the streets of gold.

The problem with this concept is that , although our treasures maybe in Heaven, the focus with this type of reading is misplaced.  The glory that is to be revealed is not our own.  It is not the glory given to us for our trials and sufferings here.  Instead, the focus of a deeper reading is the Glory of God, that is yet to be revealed.  That glory is not confined to the realm of Heaven.  The glory , although not in its entirety, can shine forth here on Earth.

It shines forth in the little miracles we experience in everyday life.  It is revealed in our faith, in the conversion of souls.  It is revealed  to us in all creation, in all of life.   The question becomes what is the process of our revelation.  That revelation will come not only in the experience of Heaven, but also occurs in the processes of our own conversions.  As we learn more about our own faith and about God, we will have more of God’s glory revealed to us.  Not that His glory was not already there, but that our own perception of the world of God that we live within is something that is limited by our own human failings.

The revelation occurs like the blind man Jesus cured.  Your own conversion , your faith in God is the healing.  It is what allows the scales to fall from our eyes in that you may see clearly , and that the same small part of that glory can begin to be revealed in our lives !

My the peace of Our Lord reign in your hearts, and be shared throughout all the world !

 

 

You do not know the day nor the hour …

October 21, 2009

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

It is a beautoful thing  to experience the readings when they coincide with what is going on in your life.  In this case, it is appropriate that my father who passed from this life, entered the hospital beliving that the procedure was purely a minor and routine procedure.  None of us had any idea of what was to occur. 

My father went to Mass and was annointed the day before he went into the hospital.  I am positive this was a comfort to him. 

If you knew the day and hour the robber was coming you would be prepared . ..    We should prepare ourselves daily for meeting the Lord.   Praying the Divine office, attending Mass as frequently as possible,  and get your interior house cleaning done, recieve the sacrament of reconcilliation as often as you can.     You dont get to choose the day or the hour of death.  You do get to choose how you live your life, and what condition your soul is in when you  get to those pearly gates.

In the Franciscan Charism we celebrate our “sister Death” who escorts our brothers and sisters into eternal life.  That may be a little hard to understand, but the person who has passed from this life, has run their race, and are in a place where they no longer suffer from the maladies of this life.    

We feel the loss of the person, but we are happy they are in the loving mercy of God.    At first they were with us here and praying for us here, and now they are on the other side of the veil praying for us still. 

Consider for a moment your own mortality.  You are here and alive and able to continue the work of bringing about the kingdom of God in your daily life.   I encourage you to make the most of that time, and work on those areas that have been neglected.  

For we do not know the day.. nor the hour…   Amen.

Of Fire and Of Water…

August 31, 2009

Todays readings are rather interesting.  We read about the Rapture and the Apocalypse.   The end of times and last of days.  Heavy stuff ?    In my life time the end of the world has been predicted probably 5 or 6 times.     I remember mentioning it to my mother and her saying ” I was not worried about how I got here, and I am not worried about how I leave”.     Remeber this parents !!    Children may not DO everything we tell them, but they NEVER forget that one time you slip, or the things you say.     ( OK maybe not everything.. but it does stick ! )

I have thought a bit about the possibilities of the ” Rapture”.   This should give consolation to us.  Indeed we consider that those who sleep in Christ will awaken and rise into the clouds.  Those who are still alive( and faithful) would be taken up with them BEFORE the destruction of the world.   We must remember  that Peter always ran about preaching the Gospel and telling people to repent for the end of days was near.   Some 21 centuries later, we are still worrying about the end of the world as we know it.

In our day to day lives we are faced with issues and decisions that need to be made, that may effect our lives moving forward.  We tend to worry and “strut our hour upon the stage…. (and mostly) signifying nothing” but more worry and fret.   It is possible that each decision we make is a possible rapture or a possible apocalypse waiting to occur.

We also read that we ” thirst for the Lord like a deer for running water”.    In our times of worry, and distress we turn to the Lord for answers, for “the miracle” , for help, and consolation.    I find it ironic that on the one hand we have the fire and brimstone of the apocalypse, and on the other side there is water, cooling, and thirst quenching.    Through out our  life there is water.   The waters of birth that break, Waters of Baptism, the water we bathe in, the Holy waters in the fonts, the water that makes up most of our chemistry, the water we drink, the waters that bless us near daily.

In the bible it was the water that was parted to save the Isrealites, and the same water that washed the Pharohs Soldiers into the ocean to  save the Isrealites.   Even today we need water to live, but it is also water that can take our lives if we are not vigilant.

To a greater extend our view of the end times is much the same.  A friend of mine used to always say, ” worry is sin paid twice”.  God is in control.  If you give God control of your life, and allow him to work in your life, then you need not have things to worry about.    ” Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry”  The mantra of Padre Pio applies for all of us.  Yesterday is done,  There is nothing you can do to change it.  Tomorrow, is still tomorrow and you cant change it, and you dont know for certain that you will be there to worry about it.  Therefore all you have is right now.  Live THIS moment.  Give THIS moment to God, Do what you can to glorify God in THIS moment, for this moment is a present.