Our bible study group at St. Patrick is studying the “Book of Revelation”. I had heard so many descriptions and interpretations of this part of the Bible that when it was offered I thought to myself, it is going to be tough. Many so-called experts have really painted scary pictures of what is to come in the future of the world. They have also made one of the main characters as being the Catholic Church!
What I have learned so far is that all those horror stories are far from the true this final book of the Bible. Oh, sure the frightening visions expressed by many are probably better book sellers and may help promote certain Christian denominations but the true meaning is turning out to be beautiful. Here is a little bit more of what I have learned.
The way the book is written is by using symbolic stories. They were visions by St. John that were parallel to the warnings by Prophets found in the Old Testament. The people of that age were familiar with them and could comprehend what the symbolic meant. Kind of like us when someone says” nine eleven” we of course know what that means the book was written to help the Christians who were being persecuted by the Romans. Most of what is in the book of Revelations has already happened. The vision of the Harlot riding on the beast is symbolic of the Jews that turned their backs on the new Covenant and joined with the Roman Empire which persecuted the Christians. The mark of the beast 666 symbolizes Nero the then emperor of Rome. The Thousand-year reign is symbolic of a very long period of time. And there ain’t no Rapture.
The Book of Revelation is just that, “the Rev-elation of Jesus Christ the Bride Groom and his Bride, the Church. Yeah guys us as members of his Church are the Bride. But look at it this way, it is symbolic. We don’t need to be thinking of ourselves in a white dress. No, it means we are meant to Love God.
Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us in his Father’s house. He will return for his Church, the Bride, during the second coming.
It is interesting to know that just like in the Jewish custom whenever a couple became Betrothed or engaged. The Groom would leave the bride to go to his father’s house to prepare a home for his Bride. When it was ready a trumpet would be blown the Bride Groom along with the wedding party would go and get the Bride.
Jesus told his disciples the same thing. Here is what he says in John 14:2 “In my Father’s house there are many places to live in; otherwise I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you to myself, so that you may be with me where I am.” Yep he will be coming for us, the Bride. Jesus also said, I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” He also said that he would be with us until the end of time. So how can we experience his presence? How can we show him our Love?
It is all possible by participating in the Holy Mass where we are in communion with him. The Mass is what the Book of Revelations is all about.
When we hear everyone say these words during Mass,” Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” we fall to our knees and join the Priest in prayer. He has started the consecration of the gifts of bread and wine they will become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ the Host. Soon the Priest will raise-up the Host and say, “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. We now can see right there “His presence is amongst us in the consecrated Host, the Eucharist. The bread has become the Body of Christ, the bread of life. (This form is safe enough because if we were to see him in his Glorious Body it would be the end of the world.)
And so, my Friends if you find yourself at Mass worshiping and giving thanks to God just like it was revealed to John in Revelation, you are a member of God’s Holy City the New Jerusalem, the Bride who the Groom will come to take to be with him at the second coming. Now isn’t that a prettier picture than those shocking interpretations some people like to spread?
Your Friend in Christ, Joe M. Govea, a devout Catholic whose duty is to evangelize