Advent with Revelation (Ch. 22)
December 19, 2021
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Chapter 22 (Fourth Sunday of Advent)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever.

And he said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.’

‘See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.’

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!’

And he said to me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.’

‘See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.’

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practises falsehood.

‘It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’
The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’
And let everyone who hears say, ‘Come.’
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

The one who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.


The river flowing out from the Church in the présent life hints at a baptism of régénération being activated through the Spirit, those cleaned and washed, polished off surpassing snow and crystal. The river of God, having been filled with waters running through the heavenly Jérusalem, is the life-giving Spirit which proceeds from God the Father and through the Lamb, through the midst of the most suprême powers which are called throne of divinity, filling the wide streets of the holy city, that is the multitude in her being increased more than the (grains of) sand, according to the Psalmist. His river, it says, waters the saints planted alongside it, figuratively called the tree of life in accordance with the participation of and imitation of the Tree of Life. Twelve fruit trees are bursting forth fruits, that is they will unceasingly burst forth a yield of fruit. For there is no winter of sin there forcing the trees of life to shed leaves as we see today, but there will be a fully measured âge of fruit-bearing by the saints. (Andrew of Caesarea)

The river of John’s vision represents the Lord. More specifically, we can see in it an image of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who is the river of peace, the torrent of wealth, the river of gladness, the flowing stream of delight, and the abundance of God’s house, for he is himself the love that unites bride and Bridegroom in the city of glory and constitutes the entire happiness of all who live there.That love which is the Holy Spirit is the life of the holy angels and of all saintly souls. Consequently the river shown to John by the angel is called a river of life-giving water. Because its water imparts light and strength it is said to be clear as crystal. This is a beautiful comparison. Crystal is a substance which is translucent yet very durable, qualities which we ourselves shall possess in the life of glory. Our minds will be wholly irradiated with the divine light, and our bodies will gain a crystalline strength through the gift of blessed immortality in that state of eternal happiness where there will be no more dying. (Rupert of Deutz)

Come, Lord Jesus. John placed these three words at the end of his Apocalypse, at the end of the entire canonical Scriptures, in order to impress our minds more sharply and profoundly so that we might unflaggingly long for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Woe to the person who does not long for him! Whoever loves him longs for him, and the more one loves, the greater is one’s longing. He should be deeply desired, because he will not come empty-handed, but will hold in his hand the kingdom and the ruling authority.  We are asking for this kingdom when we say: Your kingdom come; that is, that we may reign in him, or rather, he in us; he in us through righteousness, we in him through beatitude. He came first to bestow on us original righteousness, which consists of participation in the merits of Christ. Christ himself granted us his merits, so that what would have been done to him on account of them, if he had need, might be done to us. We obtain this original righteousness when we are reborn in water and the spirit; through them we are made unworthy of death and worthy of everlasting life, just as through our first birth, with which we are by nature children of wrath, we incur a certain original unrighteousness called original sin, through which we are unworthy of life and worthy of death.

My point is that he first came into flesh to confer this original righteousness on us; then he comes in spirit into our spirit to add a certain actual righteousness, which the grace of Christ effects in us, but not apart from us. First, through the grace called operant or prevenient, which works in us but apart from us, the will is healed, liberated, and given the capacity to act rightly. Then, after the will has been healed, free choice begins to act with grace. The will does not do one thing and grace another, but the will does one and the same thing grace does. This grace, with which the will co-operates, or which co-operates with the will, is called subsequent or co-operating grace. What is to co-operate if not to operate with another? Finally, Christ will come to glorify us on account of both kinds of righteousness. He first came into flesh in order to give for us the price of our redemption, and to liberate us from the yoke of sin and wretched slavery to the devil. Then he comes in the spirit into our spirit, in order to confer on us the effect of our redemption, that is, to lead us out of prison. Finally he will come in flesh to lead us home and into all truth. (Achard of St. Victor)

Musical Selections


He is the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

And the Spirit and bride say, “Come.”

And let him who heareth say, “Come.”

And let him who is athirst, come.

And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

He which testifieth these things saith, “Surely I come quickly.”

Even so, “Come, Lord Jesus.” (Robert Cundick)


Ecce venio cito et merces mea mecum est reddere unicuique secundum opera sua.Ego Alphaet Omega primus et novissimus principium et Spiritus et sponsa dicunt veni et qui audit dicat veni et qui sitit veniat qui vult accipiat aquam vitae gratis.

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
‘See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them as their God;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.’
And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.


And I saw a new heaven and a new earth :

for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away;

and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,

coming down from God out of heaven,

prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven,

saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,

and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people,

and God himself shall be with them and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;

and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying,

neither shall there be any more pain,

for the former things are passed away.  (Edgar Bainton)


Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus,
and do not delay,
that those who trust in your compassion
may find solace and relief in your coming.
Who live and reign with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Concluding Chant (Harpa Dei)