Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(Revelation 14:14-19; Luke 21:5-11)
Peace-minded Muslims will say that jihad in the Quran refers to the struggle all people must make to conquer their sinful tendencies. This is similar to how Christians should interpret war in the Book of Revelation.
As we know Jesus eschewed violence. He told his disciples not to resist evil. At one point he makes reference to a sword, but it serves as an image for the division between a follower and her loved ones may cause. The plot of the Book of Revelation, however, turns around a cosmic war between the forces of light and those of darkness. Obviously, this too is a spiritual campaign that all Jesus’ followers are called to join. In today’s passage, the wrath of God against evil-doers is being prepared. It will totally annihilate the culprits so that the meek might inherit the earth.
Reading Revelation, we are to be consoled by the victory of righteousness. It should not cause us to revel in war which is only metaphorical. The battle it describes is the prosaic struggle we fight daily to be kind and merciful. For some of us it is a difficult fight, but Christ is there to help us.