Advent with Revelation (Ch 10)
December 06, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Chapter 10 (Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent)

And I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He held a little scroll open in his hand. Setting his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, he gave a great shout, like a lion roaring. And when he shouted, the seven thunders sounded. And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.’ Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and the land
raised his right hand to heaven
   and swore by him who lives for ever and ever,
who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it: ‘There will be no more delay, but in the days when the seventh angel is to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled, as he announced to his servants the prophets.’ 

Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, ‘Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.’ So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, ‘Take it, and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.’ So I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. 

Then they said to me, ‘You must prophesy again about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.’ 


Wrath is the sign of God’s involvement; to that extent, he does “suffer” at the world’s hands, as we see from the Lamb who was delivered up (traditus) to be slain. God’s wrath and the Son’s Cross are two sides of a single reality; thus we can understand how the Son “treads the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (19:15)—and does so “alone”, as Isaiah says (63:3). The suffering by which God’s wrath accomplishes his work is a divine suffering; vengeance and reconciliation are two sides of the same thing: “For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption has come” (Is 63:4). Thus heaven’s sacred fire, when thrown down on the earth, can change into a fire that destroys (Rev 8:5). And it follows that the divine fire spares nothing in the world: in the Book of Revelation, there are really only two categories of people: the “witnesses” who are bound to the slain Lamb (and those who are sealed with God’s sign [7:3] and who follow the Lamb everywhere and have been redeemed by the Lamb [14:4]) and those who have submitted to the beasts and are branded with their mark (13:16). As for the first, they too “come out of the great tribulation” (7:14) and have been saved “as through fire” (1 Cor 3:15), and we have no reason to suppose that the two categories are not afflicted and scorched by the same divine fire, for “our God is a consuming fire” (Dt 4:24; Is 33:14; Heb 12:29). The world is full of suffering, burning in God’s fire; but there are those who suffer of their own free will, and there are those who suffer unwillingly. God does not adapt himself to the world: the world has to learn how to live in God’s element, how to “walk” in the “light” of his “glory” (Rev 21:23f.). The sea of crystal on which the victors stand is “mingled with fire” (15:2), and the Lord’s yes are piercing “like a flame of fire” (1:14; 2:18).

Musical Selection

I am the lamb of God, the seven seals are in my hand

I sit beside the father, Lord and ruler over all the land
The mysteries of heaven have all been revealed to me
The time is drawing near at hand for the seventh angel all the world to see

With one foot on the land and one on the sea
He'll swear with his hand raised high
Time no longer can be

I am the seventh angel, the time is near for me to fly
I'll come before the father, the one who will be seen by every eye
There'll be silence in heaven before the seven trumpets sound
Then music like thunder right before the time that I come down

With one foot on the land and one on the sea
I'll swear with my hand raised high
Time no longer can be


Lord God,
in Christ your Son you proclaimed salvation
to all the world.
Give us the grace, we pray,
to prepare joyfully for his glorious birth.
We ask this 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.