My Study of Revelation
My seminary professor assigned us a big project for our class on John. We studied the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation in this class. It may not sound like a lot but these two books are some of the more complex and deep theological books in the Bible. The project was to create a bible study on either a portion of the Gospel of John or a bible study on the book of Revelation. I choose the later and gave the Bible study when I was at St. Margaret in Albany Louisiana. My hope is to write a reflection every day during these next two weeks. Please enjoy it!
Reading Scripture Aloud
I love the words near the beginning of the book of Revelation. “Blessed is the one who reads aloud and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it.” I believe these words not only apply to Revelation but also all of scripture, and how blessed are we as Catholics to come to Mass to hear the Word of God read aloud. We are living out these words from Revelation. A question we should reflect on is how attentively do we listen to God’s word in Mass? Do we reflect on the words? Or is the only time we hear these words or read these words is at Mass. Yes we are blessed to hear them read at Mass but God calls us to go deeper into the scripture. Reflect on these words day and night as the psalm says.
The Words to Ephesus
Revelation begins with a less well known aspect of this book. It doesn’t start with visions but rather seven letters to Churches. St. John begins by writing to Ephesus. What words stand out to me in this passage? The patient endurance of the Ephesians. Ephesus was a port city and was very large and too had many temples. We might think of this city as a melting pot of many different cultures, like our city of New Orleans. Following the faith in the midst of all this diversity and likely persecution would have been praise worthy. All of us face hardships and need the grace of endurance. What does that look like in our lives? Ephesus too didn’t tolerate wickedness, in our modern culture how do we handle the wickedness and sin present in our society? Would God say to us, “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked.” Finally, the word repent will be found a lot in these letters. Do we repent? St. John challenges Ephesus to have the love they had at first and to repent and do the works you did at first. Is our faith as strong as it was when we first found Jesus and his Church? If not how do we get back there?