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November 25, 2022

Rv 20: 1-4, 11-12:2

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven,

holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.

He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent,

which is the Devil or Satan,

and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss,

which he locked over it and sealed,

so that it could no longer lead the nations astray

until the thousand years are completed.

After this, it is to be released for a short time.

 

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment.

I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded

for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,

and who had not worshiped the beast or its image

nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands.

They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

 

Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.

The earth and the sky fled from his presence

and there was no place for them.

I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,

and scrolls were opened.

Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.

The dead were judged according to their deeds,

by what was written in the scrolls.

The sea gave up its dead;

then Death and Hades gave up their dead.

 

All the dead were judged according to their deeds.

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.

(This pool of fire is the second death.)

Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life

was thrown into the pool of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.

The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,

and the sea was no more.

 

I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,

coming down out of heaven from God,

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

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.

The World Is Flipped on Its Head

This might sound strange, but I enjoy the fire and brimstone readings. I mean, lakes of fire, dead bodies walking around, the stars fall out of the sky; this stuff sounds pretty cool. And I want to offer perhaps a not so obvious lens to apply to these kinds of readings: hope.

There is a simple statement that has burrowed into my mind and heart about the world, one that devastates me with its truth, one that calls me to consider this world very seriously, that is endlessly applicable: this isn’t the way that things are supposed to be. Our world is fallen. There is death, sickness, natural (and unnatural) calamity; there are people who will go to bed hungry tonight; there are mothers who are reading bedtime stories to their dying children; there are husbands who have forgotten their wives names. This isn’t the way that things are supposed to be.

And so these images of this world flipping on its head, this subversion of what we are used to, what we have grown accustomed to as normal in a world that isn’t supposed to be this way, there is hope here. The Kingdom of God is at hand; all of this fallenness will pass away, but Christ’s words will not. 

Conor LoPiccolo is a theology teacher at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, Texas.

 

Prayer 

Lord Jesus, Word Incarnate, when you came into our world, you turned everything on its head. Because of you, we know that the blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, and those who have died will live again. As we wait for you to come again, help us to remember that you will right all wrongs, and that your love of us will remain forever. Amen.

—Jesuit Prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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November 25, 2022

Rv 20: 1-4, 11-12:2

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven,

holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.

He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent,

which is the Devil or Satan,

and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss,

which he locked over it and sealed,

so that it could no longer lead the nations astray

until the thousand years are completed.

After this, it is to be released for a short time.

 

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment.

I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded

for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,

and who had not worshiped the beast or its image

nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands.

They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

 

Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.

The earth and the sky fled from his presence

and there was no place for them.

I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,

and scrolls were opened.

Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.

The dead were judged according to their deeds,

by what was written in the scrolls.

The sea gave up its dead;

then Death and Hades gave up their dead.

 

All the dead were judged according to their deeds.

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.

(This pool of fire is the second death.)

Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life

was thrown into the pool of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.

The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,

and the sea was no more.

 

I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,

coming down out of heaven from God,

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

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.

The World Is Flipped on Its Head

This might sound strange, but I enjoy the fire and brimstone readings. I mean, lakes of fire, dead bodies walking around, the stars fall out of the sky; this stuff sounds pretty cool. And I want to offer perhaps a not so obvious lens to apply to these kinds of readings: hope.

There is a simple statement that has burrowed into my mind and heart about the world, one that devastates me with its truth, one that calls me to consider this world very seriously, that is endlessly applicable: this isn’t the way that things are supposed to be. Our world is fallen. There is death, sickness, natural (and unnatural) calamity; there are people who will go to bed hungry tonight; there are mothers who are reading bedtime stories to their dying children; there are husbands who have forgotten their wives names. This isn’t the way that things are supposed to be.

And so these images of this world flipping on its head, this subversion of what we are used to, what we have grown accustomed to as normal in a world that isn’t supposed to be this way, there is hope here. The Kingdom of God is at hand; all of this fallenness will pass away, but Christ’s words will not. 

Conor LoPiccolo is a theology teacher at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, Texas.

 

Prayer 

Lord Jesus, Word Incarnate, when you came into our world, you turned everything on its head. Because of you, we know that the blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, and those who have died will live again. As we wait for you to come again, help us to remember that you will right all wrongs, and that your love of us will remain forever. Amen.

—Jesuit Prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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