Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a
Today’s readings are not easy subjects for our reflection. The interpretation of these readings from Revelation and Luke can require a scholarly knowledge of scripture. I prefer the simple approach.
In our readings the residents of Babylon and Jerusalem "take it on the chin." Both cities are left in ruins and walloped in various ways. In Babylon "No melodies of harpists and musicians, flutists and trumpeters, will ever be heard in you again"; truly the "day the music died." In Jerusalem "They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives"; not a good outcome by anyone’s standards. We see here a Biblical "High Noon". If you are on the side of good you win! Otherwise, you are going to have a very bad hair day.
There is a certain comfort one can take in knowing that in the end, good wins. As Passionists we often find ourselves wrapped up in the daily struggles of building the Kingdom of God. This work can be exhausting and sometimes even discouraging. As we engage our world to defeat injustice, encourage those who suffer and heal an endless stream of people impacted by evil, we sometimes lose sight of the end game. Today’s readings remind us of the final outcome. The headline of today’s readings is a simple one. The Kingdom of God wins, evil loses!
So as we reflect on today’s readings, we can choose to concentrate on the carnage or the comfort. Let’s concentrate on the comfort of knowing that the victory of the Kingdom of God will most certainly be the end result of our work and the grace of God. Today’s experience of the Passion of Jesus in our world will lead to tomorrow’s invitation; an invitation, as our Responsorial Psalm proclaims, to the "wedding feast of the Lamb!"
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D. is a member of our Passionist Family who volunteers at the Passionist Assisted Living Community in Louisville, Kentucky.