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Apocalypse How?
Insight Scoop ^ | April 20, 2013 | Carl Olson

Posted on 04/20/2013 3:00:09 PM PDT by NYer

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, April 21st, the Fourth Sunday of Easter | Carl E. Olson

• Acts 13:14, 43-52
• Ps 100:1-2, 3, 5
• Rev 7:9, 14b-17
• Jn 10:27-30

Pop quiz: which book of the Bible describes black helicopters, high-tech warfare involving Russia and China, and computer chips embedded in human flesh?

Hopefully you answered, “None.” But you may know that some Christians believe the Book of Revelation, or The Apocalypse, describes soon-to-transpire, end of the world events in harrowing detail. And most people—even many Catholics—believe that the final book of the Bible is an unremitting work of doom, gloom, and bloodshed.

John the Revelator’s book undoubtedly contains images of doom and gloom, but not for those who stand for and with Christ. And while there is plenty of bloodshed in the Book of Revelation, the good news is that the blood of the Lamb, shed for the sins of the world, cleanses those who faithfully follow the Shepherd.

In other words, today’s reading from The Apocalypse is filled with joy. It proclaims that God will not only overcome evil, He will—at the end of time as we know it—bring together all of those who love Him. The great multitude witnessed by John consists of those who have been saved through suffering, just as Savior, the slain Lamb (Rev. 5:6), brought salvation through suffering and death. “The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom,” explains the Catechism, “only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” (CCC 677).

Those in the great multitude, from every nation, race, people, and tongue, are the Church. They make up the New Israel, which has gone through a New Exodus. While the first Exodus involved the people of Israel being saved from the tyranny of Egyptian slavery, this final Exodus consists of the people of the new covenant being saved eternally from the domination of sin and death. As Jesus states, in the reading from today’s Gospel, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (Jn. 10:28). The salvation of a multitude too large to be counted is a fulfillment of the great covenant made with Abraham: “I will make of you a great nation … All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you” (Gen. 12:2, 3; cf. Gal. 3:7, 29).

Overcoming death and establishing eternal life is a constant theme in The Apocalypse. This can be seen in the imagery throughout the book, which is bursting with allusions to the Old Testament, especially the Pentateuch and the Prophets. The idea of being made “white” through perseverance in faith is drawn from Daniel, a book used often by John: “Many shall purify themselves, and makes themselves white, and be refined” (Dan. 12:10). White robes symbolize holiness and endurance. Priests in the time of Christ were examined for purity; if they passed, they were dressed in white robes, as was the High Priest. In the new covenant, those who have been baptized into Christ, the High Priest, and who endure to the end will be saved through the sacrifice of the Lamb on the Cross.

The palm branches allude to the feast of Tabernacles (cf., Lev. 24:39-40), which celebrated the harvest of crops and commemorated God’s divine protection during the Exodus. Palm branches were also used as symbols of victory (1 Macc. 13:51; 2 Macc. 10:7). In The Apocalypse they stand for God’s victory over evil, His protection of the Church throughout the time of tribulation, and the restoration of right relationship with God, as evidenced by the songs of praise before the heavenly throne.

John’s vision is also filled with a liturgical and sacramental perspective. The great multitude worship God in His temple, which ultimately is the Person of Christ (cf., Jn 2:19-22). Being washed and made white suggests the bath of Baptism, and the lack of hunger or thirst is Eucharistic in its promise of complete joy in the presence of the Lamb.

Thus, in the end—The End!—the apocalyptic truths of the Book of Revelation don’t involve helicopters and top secret technology, but the salvation of God’s flock, His people, through the death and Resurrection of the Lamb.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: apocalypse

1 posted on 04/20/2013 3:00:09 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...


2 posted on 04/20/2013 3:00:52 PM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: NYer

For such a time as this:

3 posted on 04/20/2013 3:11:52 PM PDT by stars & stripes forever ((Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!))
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To: stars & stripes forever

Thanks for that, stars & stripes.

4 posted on 04/20/2013 3:33:56 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals will never get it. Their minds have been stolen.)
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To: NYer
Dear NY:

I would like to stir the pot here a bit. The post seems - to me- to imply that Apocalyptic occurrences are overstated drama and that all we have to do is give a thumbs up or down on Christ and stay the couse otherwise.

I would like to bring to your attention that various Marian apparitions, approved by the Church, indicate that serious calamities are upon us. I will only refer to a few, and invite readers to do their own research on the following:

Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Akita

5 posted on 04/20/2013 4:10:23 PM PDT by stisidore
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To: NYer
Too many people spend all their time trying to prove the first chapters of Genesis.

Too many people spend all their time trying to decipher the book of Revelation (Apocalypse).

Yet, the parts between are being ignored when that is what we should be concentrating on.

6 posted on 04/20/2013 5:41:04 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Do we now register our pressure cookers?)
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