Tue, 24 November 2020
(Rv.15:1-4; Ps.98:1-3,7-9,Rv.15:13; Lk.21:12-19)
“By patient endurance you will save your lives.”
Jesus tells His disciples bluntly: “People will manhandle and persecute you.” Some will be “put to death” as they are “brought to give witness on account of” His name – “All will hate you because of me.” Yet in their witness He promises to provide “words and a wisdom” to serve as an impenetrable defense against their enemies… and in the end, after persevering through all suffering, eternal life shall be theirs.
John’s vision in our first reading reveals the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise. Even as “seven angels holding the seven final plagues” of “God’s wrath” stand ready to cast these culminating tribulations upon the earth, the Evangelist sees “those who had won victory over the beast and its image” – over the illusory power of the evil one – “holding the harps used in worshiping God,” and singing “the song of the Lamb” who was slain but now lives forever: “Mighty and wonderful are your works, Lord God Almighty! Righteous and true are your ways, O King of the nations!… You alone are holy.”
Brothers and sisters, let us “sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for Him, His holy arm.” Yes, “the Lord has made His salvation known,” and as those who stand “on the sea of glass” give praise to God with harps in hand, so does “the sea and what fills it resound,” so do “the rivers clap their hands, [and] the mountains shout with them for joy.” Let us join their holy song “before the Lord, for He comes, He comes to rule the earth”; His everlasting “justice” is upon us. And though we may have to suffer for a time in this world of darkness and sin, where light is shunned by the sons of men, yet even in our persecutions this eternal joy should take hold of our souls so that we know not the suffering from the rejoicing – for both are done in His name, and soon the former shall pass away.
Indeed, the song of the Lord is already upon our lips; we wait now only for its eternal resonance before His throne.
O LORD, let your will be done in us
and our souls be saved,
that we might praise you forever.
YHWH, let your song of praise be on our lips for the salvation you have wrought in our midst. With the Lamb let us come into your heavenly kingdom. Through all persecution let us endure with your Word within us.
What is our suffering in this life, O LORD, when the eternal life of Heaven awaits us and comes to us even this day. We shall rejoice with the rivers and mountains and all the earth, for we shall win victory with your Son over the devil and his illusions – that battle is being won even as we speak.
Be with us, LORD, this day, this hour; every hour we toil on this plane, let us toil only with you and for you. And we shall have nothing to fear at the death of the body or our being dragged before the rulers of this age. For we shall never die! For you who are life never die and our home is in you.
Praise you, O LORD our God! Do your mighty works in our midst and we shall glory in your holy NAME forever.