St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
Revelation 5:1-10 + Luke 19:41-44
November 17, 2016
“‘Worthy are you to receive the scroll / and break open its seals….’”
Today’s passage from the Book of Revelation focuses on Jesus Christ. Not surprisingly, then, it teaches us something important about His Bride, the Church. The entire Book of Revelation is not only profoundly Christo-centric, but also eccleiso-centric (that is, focused on the Church).
In today’s passage we hear of “a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne”. It’s fair to say that the one on the throne is God the Father, seated in His majesty. The scroll is the Good News of His Son. We might even say that this scroll is the Gospel.
But this scroll is sealed seven times over. A mighty angel rhetorically asks, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” The answer is the “lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David”. These two metaphors clearly represent Jesus Christ, suggesting that only Jesus Himself can authoritatively reveal Himself to others.
Then is seen the Lamb who is slain. This also is an image of Christ: Him crucified. In other words, it is through the Cross Jesus reveals who He is to others. The Crucifixion of the Word made Flesh is the “glory” which St. John’s account of the Gospel builds up to.
The end of today’s passage speaks of those for whom the Lamb was slain. We hear the Church’s leaders singing “a new hymn”, during which they cry out to the Lamb: “with your Blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.” This is the universal Church who is the very flesh and blood of the Bridegroom who gave His life on Calvary.