Advent with Revelation (Ch. 20)
December 17, 2021
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.


Chapter 20 (Friday of the Third Week of Advent)

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and locked and sealed it over him, so that he would deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, in order to gather them for battle; they are as numerous as the sands of the sea. They marched up over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from heaven and consumed them. And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.


Most people, including the reverent, when they read the book [of Revelation], since they are familiar with spiritual realities and take the things that have a spiritual meaning in it in a spiritual way, believe indeed that they are true, but that their explanation lies deep beneath the surface of the text. For this is not the only passage whose meaning lies deep; there are many others. (Epiphanius of Cyprus)

The saints shall never possess an earthly kingdom, but only a heavenly. Away, then, with the fable about a millennium! (St. Jerome)

Christ died only once, and rose again once only. A single resurrection answered to a single death. But for us who have been dragged down to the depths by the burden of a twofold mortality, one resurrection cannot suffice. Because we have fallen so low, a single resurrection is not enough to bring us to the blessed life of heaven. We need two.Nevertheless the resurrection of Christ is the cause and exemplar, the model and the effective sign of both our resurrec­tions, first and second alike. It is by our faith in and our sacramental imitation of the resurrection of Christ that we are recreated, justified, sanctified, and raised from death. This is our first resurrection, the resurrection of our soul, through which we are now dead to sin and live for holiness, walking in newness of life as we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that we have at last fully realized our adoption as God’s sons. That will take place at the second resurrection, when Christ will refashion these wretched bodies of ours and make them resemble his own glorious body.Our first resurrection begins when we first show obedience to God, and is brought to completion by our perseverance in doing his will. Our second resurrection begins with our glorification and endures for all eternity. If we continue in obedience till the end of our lives, then we shall also abide in a glory that knows no end.The first resurrection has a glory of its own, something in which both body and soul can rejoice. On this subject we may consult the Apostle Paul. Where bodily glory here below is concerned he has this to say: Far be it from me to glory in anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. As for the glory enjoyed by the soul, he explains that, our glory is in the hope of our adoption as God’s sons. But the glory belonging to the second resurrection will be the glory of the soul that sees God in the glory of his divinity, and the glory of the body in its state of incorruptibility, when this perishable nature of ours puts on imperishability and this mortal nature puts on immortality. In that future life the saints will be doubly clad. Robed in white and holding lyre and harp, they will sing and play in their glory, praising God together for all eternity. Their mouths will be filled with songs of rejoicing and their lips with hymns of gladness, as they praise and honour our Lord Jesus Christ, who is God enthroned over all, blessed for evermore. Amen. (Baldwin of Canterbury)

Musical Selections

Et vidi Angelum descendentem de cælo, habentem clavem abyssi, et catenam magnam in manu sua.
And I saw an Angel, descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the abyss and a great chain.

Et apprehendit draconem, serpentem antiquum, qui est diabolus, et Satanas, et ligavit eum.
And he apprehended the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and he bound him.

Et misit eum in abyssum, et clausit, et signavit super illum.

And he cast him into the abyss, and he closed and sealed it.

Et mors, et infernus dederunt mortuos suos, qui in ipsis erant: et iudicatum est de singulis secundum opera ipsorum.

And death and Hell gave up their dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

Et qui non inventus est in Libro vitæ scriptus, missus est in stagnum ignis.

And whoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the pool of fire.

Et diabolus, qui seducebat eos, missus est in stagnum ignis, et sulphuris, ubi et bestia, et pseudopropheta cruciabuntur die ac nocte in sæcula sæculorum.
And the devil, who seduced them, was cast into the pool of fire and sulphur, where both the beast and the false prophetess shall be tortured, day and night, forever and ever.

Veni, et ostendam tibi sponsam, uxorem Agni.

“Come, and I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

Et civitatem Ierusalem novam descendentem de cælo a Deo, paratam, sicut sponsam ornatam viro suo.

And the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

Et sustulit me in spiritu in montem magnum, et altum, et ostendit mihi civitatem sanctam Ierusalem descendentem de cælo a Deo.
And he took me up in spirit to a great and high mountain. And he showed me the Holy City Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

Et venit unus de septem Angelis locutus est mecum, dicens: Veni Amen.

And one of the seven Angels, approached and spoke with me, saying: Come hither.  Amen.


Lucifer, coelestis olim hierarchiae princeps
praeclarissimus, superbe nimium fatue latus,
aequalem Deo his se jactabat vocibus:

O me felicem, o me beatum coelestis gloriae
decoratum! In coelum conscendam et super
astra Dei exaltabo solium meum; sedebo in
monte Testamenti, in leteribus Aquilonis, super
altitudinem nubium, similis ero Altissimo.

Haec audiens, summus omnium creator Deus,
accitis angelis suis, ait:

Ite angeli, angeli mei; ite fortissimi coelestis
aulae milites, superbientem exterminate Luciferum.
Ite, pugnate, fugate rebelles.
Damnate superbos ad flammas Averni.
Tartarei vadant ad limina fundi et Stigii cadant
ad ima profundi.
Has addite poenas: in inferi portis parate catenas
et vincula mortis; merentes, dolentes in
igne locate. (Giacomo Carissimi)

Lucifer, of old the most noble prince of the heavenly
hosts, with exceeding pride and foolishness
boasted that he was equal with God, with
these words:
O how happy am I, blessed and garnished with
heavenly glory. I will ascend into heaven, I will
exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit
also upon the mount of the congregation, in the
sides of the north, above the heights of the
clouds; I will be like the most High.
Hearing this, God, supreme Creator of all
things, called his angels, and said:
Go, ye angels, my angels; go, strongest hosts of
the heavenly court: slay the proud Lucifer.
Go, fight, cause the rebels to fly with flight.
Condemn the proud ones to the flames of
Avernus. That they go to the bottom of deep
Tartarus, and fall into the deepest depth of the
Styx. And these be the punishments: at hell's
gate prepare the chains and fetters of death;
cast them grieving into the flames, according to
their deserts.


Exultabunt justi in voce jucunditatis, cum
ascendent in regnum lucis et irradiatum vitae
splendoribus, ubi omnia consonant et flos
tranquillitatis inhabitat. Exultabunt in Domino
Sancti quos virtute pares, dissimiles pugna gloriae:
sol victoria Deus justus judex coronavit;
prae laetitia cordis canentes et dicentes:

O felix gloria, o perennes divitiae, splendeat
dies in qua mortui sumus, splendeat nox in qua
vexati fuimus. (Giacomo Carissimi)

In the voice of mirth will the righteous rejoice,
while they ascend unto the kingdom of light, lit
with the beauties of life, where harmony and
the flower of peace reside. The Saints, equal in
virtue, diverse in their fight, will rejoice in the
lord: the sun of glory, God, the righteous judge,
hath crowned them with victory; and they, with
hearts full of joy, will sing, and say:

O happy glory, O eternal riches, let the day
shine in which we died, let the night shine in
which we were tormented.


May your grace, almighty God,
always go before us and follow after,
so that we, who await with heartfelt desire
the coming of your Only Begotten Son,
may receive your help both now and in the life to come.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.