Nov 28th – Revelation

I have difficulty understanding Revelation but agree with Fr. Linsky on this theologically encouraging verse: Revelation 3:20 ‘”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. That verse is a part of a summary statement at the end of the messages to the seven churches.

Our discussion about the many strange and varied interpretations that are possible from the symbolic and apocalyptic language reminded me that in my young adulthood many believed and taught that the locusts in Revelation 9 were a prophecy of the military helicopters playing a big role in the Vietnam War.  Just Google “locusts in revelation as helicopters” to see that it is still a common interpretation. There will also be links to lots of other interesting theories, but I don’t recommend spending any time on them.

Looking for some reasonable approach to the mysterious book, I turned to the Introduction to Revelation in The Catholic Study Bible NABRE, 2nd Edition, page 1752. I found this helpful paragraph:

Certainly the Church faces many crises today including severe persecution in many parts of the world. So, while Revelation may not be helpful in trying to pin down the exact time of the Resurrection of the Dead, the messages to the churches in chapters 2 and 3 including praise, criticism, and recommendations, are timeless and helpful even now.

The letters include praise for hard work, labor, endurance, intolerance of the wicked, testing of apostles, suffering in His name, hating heresy, being faithful witnesses, loving, and serving. They include criticism of following false gods, accepting heresies, tolerating false teachers, and of lacking love and being lukewarm in the faith. Instructions to the churches for improvement include repenting, remaining faithful unto death, being watchful, holding fast to the faith, and being fearless.

It sounds like a good basis for ministry improvement of any church at any time under any circumstances.

Below is a map, courtesy of biblestudy.org, of the seven churches in Revelation.

And a final word from the Nicene Creed:

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

 

 

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