Thursday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(Revelation 5:1-10; Luke 19:41-44)
The Book of Revelation was written to shore up the hope of first century Christians whom Rome was intermittently persecuting. Today’s first reading indicates their dire situation.
The scroll in the hand of the Almighty represents God’s plan of salvation. The opening of that scroll would mean the unrolling of history. It would bring about the rescue of Christians who wait in near desperation for relief of persecution. The difficulty is that no hero has come forth who might overcome the evil that has encompassed the world. Finally, the only one up to the challenge presents himself. He is one as courageous as a lion and gentle as a lamb. He has seven horns indicating the fullness of power and seven eyes suggesting complete wisdom. His identity is a mystery to the nations, but to Christians he is intimately known and welcomed. He is Jesus, the Son of God.
What is the evil threatening us today? Is it the Islamic State ready to behead their captives? Or perhaps it is relativism that would allow the killing of a human fetus because it has brown rather than blue eyes? If we are really honest, we might notice virulent evil lurking in our own hearts. It wants to vaunt us as “numero uno” and belittle others as means to our aggrandizement. In order to overcome this evil we too must turn to lion-lamb, the Son of God, Jesus.