Revelation Apocalypse or Series of Letters

In our daily Mass readings we begin to hear from the book of Revelation. We all know Revelation is an Apocalypse, which simply means uncovering. We typically think of Apocalypse as the end of the world, as great destruction, the coming of Christ, the Judgement and other things but Revelation has some elements that may be surprising to you. It is certainly an Apocalypse but it doesn’t begin with that. First it reveals the source of his inspiration and that is one who looks like the son of Man. If you look at the imagery in the Old Testament he looks more like a priest than anything else. “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.” This one like a son of man represents not only Christ but Christ the priest. 

Revelation is not only an apocalypse, a vision of heaven, and the end times, and it too directly addresses Churches in the ancient world. Specifically seven Churches in present-day Turkey. It begins with a letter to the Church in Ephesus, who also received a letter from St Paul. They were a church who tested those who claimed to be apostles. “You have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not, and discovered that they are impostors.” But they are challenged to return to the love they had at first. “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.” We may be able to relate to this Church, we can sometimes turn our faith lives into a form of being on autopilot, we go to Mass on a regular basis, we have some prayer, but it may not progress much. What our Lord challenges us to do today is give ourselves the same way we did when we first found the faith, when our enthusiasm was high and on fire. These can be challenging words for us, but they can move us to greater holiness.

Last note: last year I presented a bible study on the book of Revelation and now that it is a part of the daily mass lectionary I will provide my insights on these passages for my blog!

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