Advent with Revelation (Ch. 14)
December 11, 2021
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Chapter 14 (Saturday of the Second Week of Advent)

Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless.

Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgement has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’

Then another angel, a second, followed, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’

Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, ‘Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, they will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.’

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labours, for their deeds follow them.’

Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand! Another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to the one who sat on the cloud, ‘Use your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.’ So the one who sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, ‘Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and he threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the wine press, as high as a horse’s bridle, for a distance of about two hundred miles.


When the Church was toiling under the burden of its conflicts, the Lord Jesus Christ preserved it by the example of His power, and the defence of His protection. For when the body had been shewn which was confounded by the power of the dragon, and marked by his brand, he shews the Church rejoicing in its wonted splendour and numbers, that thou shouldest not be afraid lest the body of the Lamb had succumbed to the fury of the beast. And observe, that the beast stands on the sand of the sea, the Lamb of Mount Zion. (St. Bede the Venerable)

The soul has to depart from the surroundings of this life, and the pollutions of the earthly body, and to press on to those heavenly companies, though it is for the saints alone, to attain to them, and to sing praise to God (as in the prophet’s words we hear of those who are playing harpsand saying: “For great are Thy marvellous works, O Lord God Almighty, just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations; who shall not fear and magnify Thy Name, for Thou only art holy, for all nations shall come and worship before Thee”),and to see Thy marriage feast, O Lord Jesus, in which the Bride is led from earthly to heavenly things, while all rejoice in harmony, for “to Thee shall all flesh come,” now no longer subject to transitory things, but joined to the Spirit, to see the chambers adorned with linen, roses, lilies, and garlands. Of whom else is the marriage so adorned? For it is adorned with the purple stripes of confessors, the blood of martyrs, the lilies of virgins, and the crowns of priests.  Holy David desired beyond all else for himself that he might behold and gaze upon this, for he says: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, and see the pleasure of the Lord.”  It is a pleasure to believe this, a joy to hope for it; and certainly, not to have believed it is a pain, to have lived in this hope a grace. But if I am mistaken in this, that I prefer to be associated after death with angels rather than with beasts, I am gladly mistaken, and so long as I live will never suffer myself to be cheated of this hope. (St. Ambrose of Milan)

On the last day, Christ Jesus shall hold aloft a glorious scale before his Father.  Upon it will lie his holy toil and his innocent suffering, and in it and next to it all the blameless torment, humiliation, and interior pain that was ever suffered by human beings for the love of Christ. Indeed, when the right side of the scale sinks, those rejoice the most who have much upon it. The blood of virgins by its nature, the blood of martyrs shed for their Christian faith, and other blood spilled through killing but shed in innocence during justified self-defense: this is what the holy Son of God shall weigh together with his blood, because it was poured out in true innocence. Our Lord, the heavenly Father, in his divine wisdom has stored away many ineffable gifts with which he intends to adorn his chosen children after the last day. Especially for his only begotten Son, Jesus our Redeemer, has the heavenly Father prepared and fashioned a crown with such rich and exquisite workmanship that all the craftsmen who ever existed, are now, and ever shall be could not fully capture the splendor and rich delights of this crown. At the time of the Antichrist the crown shall be crenelated with many a glorious image, such as that of Elias and Enoch, and many holy martyrs shall be there before them wearing the flowers of the holiness of their life and enhanced by their precious blood. The crown shall also be dyed in the blood of the Lamb, and shall shine forth and be gilded with the powerful love that broke the sweet heart of Jesus in two.  (St. Mechtild of Magdeburg)

Musical Selections


O quam gloriósum est regnum * in quo cum Christo gaudent omnes Sancti, amícti stolis albis sequúntur Agnum quocúmque íerit!

Oh! how glorious is the kingdom * where all the Saints rejoice with Christ; clothed in white robes, they follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth!

These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. (John Goss)

Audivi vocem de cælo, dicentem mihi: Beati mortui qui in Domino moriuntur.

I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me: Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. (Duarte Lobo)


May the splendor of your glory dawn in our hearts,
we pray, almighty God,
that all shadows of the night may be scattered
and we may be shown to be children of light
by the advent of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.