Advent with Revelation (Ch 21)
December 17, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Chapter 21 (Saturday of the Third Week of Advent; December 17)

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;
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. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.’ 

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It has the glory of God and a radiance like a very rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. It has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites; on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 

The angel who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width; and he measured the city with his rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits by human measurement, which the angel was using. The wall is built of jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth cornelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each of the gates is a single pearl, and the street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass. 

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practises abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. 


The seer beholds “a new heaven and a new earth”, that is, it is not simply that the old earth is wound up and absorbed into God’s permanent heaven. Most significantly, he sees a downward movement: the New Jerusalem comes down from above1 and—in an analogy to the Old Covenant—becomes the tabernacle in which God dwells among men (21:2-3). The New Jerusalem is adorned like a bride at her wedding, but this is not a marriage between heaven and earth: she is married to the Lamb who has lived and suffered on earth and now stands on God’s heavenly throne. The measurements of the city, radiant with God’s glory, correspond both to (earthly) man and to the (heavenly) angel (21:17), and, although the city comes down from God, it also rests on the foundation of the “apostles of the Lamb”; its gates bear the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, that is, of earthly realities. There is water in the city, but it springs forth from the divine throne; there are trees and leaves and fruit, but they have heavenly powers. Everything else that is described in the city exhibits the same unimaginable union between things that are familiar to earth yet transformed into heavenly realities. It is to this union that the mysterious promises of the “letters” refer. What is already true in the Church, in the hiddenness of faith, that is, that God himself and the Lamb are her temple and her light, is now fulfilled openly and publicly (21:22f.). Similarly, the Church’s doors were always open to the world; she was always the light of the world, and the riches of the nations were already hers yet in an invisible manner; now, however, this will be manifest to the eyes of all (21:23-26). 

Musical Selection (Michael Card)

I saw the Holy City
Descending from the sky
So brilliant with the light of God
The city is His bride

There is no temple in this town
No sun, no moon, no lamp
For God's own glory is it's light
Illuminated by the Lamb

And God Himself will wipe the tears
From every weeping eye
No death, no pain, no mourning cry
And every tear made dry


And now our God will dwell with them
The New Jerusalem
And He Himself will walk with them
The New Jersulaem

And so let all of those who thirst
Come now and drink for free
And to the one who overcomes
Come now and you will see

Behold the old has passed away
Now everything is new
The Alpha and Omega's words
Are trustworthy and so true

Then God Himself will wipe the tears
From every weeping eye
No death, no pain, no mourning cry
And every tear made dry


And He Himself will walk with them
The New Jerusalem


Creator and Redeemer of the human race,
it was your holy will
that your Word should take flesh
in the womb of the ever-virgin Mary.
Look with kindness on our prayers
and grant that your only Son,
who came to share our human nature,
may lead us to share in his divine life.

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.