Advent with the Apocalypse (Ch 5; Dec 7)
December 07, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Revelation Ch 5 (Thursday of the First Week of Advent)

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
    and they will reign on the earth.”

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”


The Lamb is the key figure in the visions of Revelation. His first appearance is here, approaching the heavenly throne where he is worshipped by the living creatures and the elders.
The Lamb of the vision signifies the Servant, the enigmatic figure who appears throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, and was one of the first titles the Jerusalem Christians gave to Jesus.
In Revelation 5 the Lamb has been slain and taken up to heaven….Once the Lamb is enthroned, he is worshipped…. The worship of the enthroned Lamb shows that he has become the LORD and the vision of Revelation 5 is a scene of apotheosis, corresponding to temple ritual underlying Psalm 2 and Psalm 110….Revelation 5 describes the moment when the Lamb entered heaven and became God and King….In Revelation this worship of the Servant/Lamb as the LORD is confirmed by the pattern of the doxologies.  When the elders around the throne worship him who lives for ever and ever, they sing: 'Worthy art thou our LORD and God to receive glory and honour and power, for thou didst create all things and by thy will they existed and were created' (4.11). When the whole host of heaven worships the Lamb they use similar words: 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing' (5.12). When the whole creation joins in worship they say: 'To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever' (5.13). The two, now one, are worshipped (cf. John 10.30).
The Lamb's blood, the life of the LORD, has been used as on the Day of Atonement, to restore and renew the creation, and to create a kingdom of priests, the assembly of the firstborn (see on 14.4). In other words, the Lamb who approaches the throne is the LORD returning to his holy place after he has made the Great Atonement….The Book of Revelation, apart from these scenes of worship, confirms that the Lamb was the LORD….The picture is consistent: the Lamb has the sevenfold spirit and the sevenfold light of the first day, and he becomes the LORD, enthroned in the midst of the beasts and the elders.

Musical Selection 

Dignus es, Dómine, accípere librum et aperíre signácula eius, quóniam occísus es et redemísti nos Deo. *In sánguine tuo. V. Fecísti enim nos Deo nostro regnum et sacerdótes. *In sánguine tuo.

You are worthy, Lord, to receive the book and open its seals, since you were slain and redeemed us for God. *By your blood. V. For you have made us a kingdom and priests for our God. *By your blood.



Stir up your power, Lord God,
and support us with your mighty strength,
that your merciful grace may bring us quickly
the salvation that our sins delay.
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.