Archive for January 5th, 2022


The Lion of Judah becomes the Lamb of God

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Joy and the Beast

Revelation 19:7

The New Testament closes with the apocalyptic verses written by John of Patmos. Filled with extravagant symbolism and vivid descriptions of the coming end, these verses are best understood with a solid commentary. With its origin in a time of crisis, Revelation’s metaphors bring us the good news that each of us is the beautiful bride about to enter into holy and eternal union with Christ, the bridegroom. These are words that surprise the faithful . . . and us . . . with joy.

Just when turmoil and crisis are about to take over the new church of Jesus-followers, John of Patmos writes that they are saved in extravagant style. The message here is simple. “Hold on. Stand fast. Your hope will not be disappointed. Your joy is upon you”.

Revelation 19:7: Let us be joyful and glad! Let us give him glory! It is time for the Lamb’s wedding. His bride has made herself ready.

Linda Harris-Lorio: Dance of the Bride

Linda Harris-Lorio: Dance of the Bride

“Persecution and suffering were undoubtedly real. These [early] Christians were faced with the choices of all who suffer oppression. Were they to resist violently and seek the overthrow of Rome? That was futile as well as contrary to their ethos. Were they simply to cooperate? That would be to lose their identity. They chose the path of passive resistance. They did not fight the beast, but neither would they do its bidding”. (Senior RG 575-576)

John of Patmos speaks to any of God’s faithful who suffer at the hands of unethical, dishonest or oppressive leaders; and he speaks to us today as we begin to close our Joy Through Scripture Series of reflections. What was true for the early Christians is also true for us: even in the most dire of circumstances, the faithful need not struggle against the oppression they experience. They – and we – can never be devoured by the beast. They – and we – are the bride of the eternal, forgiving, loving, redeemer Christ. Against this one, no beast will prevail. With this one, the faithful will survive. For this one the world has been waiting. Through this one, the faithful live in timeless, ever-present joy.

joyLet us move forward today in acceptance of this gift that is so graciously and wonderfully given in the darkest of times and places, the gift of Christ’s redeeming joy in us.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.RG 572, 575-577. Print.

For information on the life of John of Patmos, visit: http://www.usccb.org/bible/revelation/0

Visit the PBS Frontline resource and read about the author of Revelation:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/revelation/white.html  

Explore the Frontline topics and consider how Christ’s joy might change the balance of power and the influence of corruption in our own lives. Spend time also considering how each of us might bring Christ’s joy to the world.

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar.

Dancer image from: http://www.shofarsfromafar.com/product/SFA-ART-DANCEBRIDE

Lion image from: http://www.darwinthenandnow.com/genesis/revelation/revelation-lion-and-the-lamb-2/

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