I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to damage earth and sea, saying, “Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel: After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My Lord, you are the one who knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“My Lord, you are the one who knows.” This saying from today’s first reading strikes me as incredibly freeing and life-giving. I often want to know, rather than be comfortable with just allowing God to know. I want to know so that I feel better, and more in control. Such a feeling of control may often be just that, a feeling. How free I could be, and perhaps you, too, to say with confidence and comfort, “My Lord, you are the one who knows,” and be satisfied with that, not desiring to satisfy our own thirst or even obsession with personal knowledge. I do not mean, or wish, to go around saying “Only God knows, only God knows.” Instead, may we recognize the invitation to sit comfortably with God, and not desire much more than that.
Might God want you to sit comfortably with him today, for a moment or two?
God, our Father, source of all holiness,
the work of your hands is manifest in your Saints,
the beauty of your truth is reflected in their faith.
May we who aspire to have part in their joy
be filled with the Spirit that blessed their lives.
May we also know their peace in your Kingdom. Amen.
—Prayer for the Solemnity of All Saints, from the Roman Sacramentary © 1985, Catholic Book Publishing Corp.