Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(Revelation 14:1-3.4b-5; Luke 21:1-4)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is perhaps America’s best known choral ensemble. Attending one of its concerts one is moved by the members’ dignified dress, their superbly trained voices, and their expansive numbers. In analogous ways the celestial choir of today’s passage from the Book of Revelation can be understood.
The heavenly chorus is praising to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. All its members have God’s name written on their foreheads. The writing is a type of uniform that symbolizes their belonging to the Lord. They sing a song whose intricacies require a dedicated voice. Here dedication is more than training; it is a commitment to virtue. The fact that there are 144,000 members of the choir does not mean that there is a strict limit to their number. The number is symbolic for enormity so that there is room for every virtuous person.
With all the reason in the world we hope to sing with that celestial ensemble. There is no need to worry about there not being a slot for us. But we should concern ourselves with acquiring the virtue so that we might sing along. We do not have to be especially intelligent or educated. We do have to put aside all selfish pursuits to follow Jesus, the Lamb. He generously gave of himself for others. We should do the same.