Thursday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(Revelation 5:1-10; Luke 19:41-44)
At the beginning of John’s Gospel, John the Baptist calls Jesus, “’the Lamb of God.’” He is prophesying that Jesus will be slain as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity. Nobody today sees lambs as fierce fighters. But the Lamb of God conquered sin and death. In today’s first reading the Lamb appears as the only one to accomplish another momentous feat.
The scene symbolizes a reenactment of Jesus’ victory over sin and death at the end of time. The issue is who can open the scroll in the hand of God. The scroll contains the narrative of how sin and death will be defeated. The narrative cannot, however, proceed until the scroll is open. The visionary John sheds tears when no one comes forth to do it because sin and death are wreaking havoc. Finally, the spotless Lamb of God, takes the scroll. He will initiate the campaign to finally annihilate evil.
The Book of Revelation was written to give Christians hope that God is still in control. The author wanted to assure those suffering persecution that their rescue is near. We too should find hope in the story. Covid is still killing our loved ones. By now the measures to stem the virus are becoming tiresome, for some even unsupportable. But we know that Christ will see us through. We only must keep faith in him.