Advent with the Apocalypse (Ch 20, Dec 22)
December 22, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Chapter 20 (Friday of the Third Week of Advent; December 22)

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped 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 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. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

After the Great Judgement described in 20.11-15 there still survive, apparently, the unclean and those who practise abomination and falsehood who have to be excluded from the heavenly city at the end of the next chapter (21.27). The millennium kingdom is announced but there is no description of it, nothing about the kingdom which had been central to the message of Jesus and the focus of the entire Book of Revelation.
As the harlot city burns, the marriage of the Lamb is prepared. His Bride is not at first identified as the city. Only her dress is described: ‘fine linen, white and pure, the righteous deeds of the saints, an obvious contrast to the finery of the harlot dressed in purple and scarlet, gold, jewels and pearls (17.4). Later, when the Bride is revealed to be the city, her jewels are described (21.18-21).
The vision of the harlot and the vision of the Bride form a pair; in each case the seer is taken in the Spirit by one of the bowl angels (17.1-3; 21.9-10). The harlot city is replaced by the heavenly Jerusalem. The harlot city wears linen, purple, scarlet gold, jewels and pearls (18.16); the bride wears linen (19.8), gold, jewels and pearls (21.11-21).
Through the middle of the city flowed the river of the water of life, and there was also the tree of life, yielding its fruits throughout the year and leaves for the healing of the nations (22.1-2) This was Eden restored, and those who conquered would eat of the tree of life (2.7; 22.19) from which Adam and Eve had been barred (Gen. 3.22)….The city is the new holy of holies, and so it is Day One, before the sun and moon were created to give light to the material world….The new priests in the holy of holies are the pure in heart who see God, and so there are no divisions in the city to distinguish differing degrees of holiness. There is no temple with its graded courtyards, only a city/holy of holies whose gates are never shut, whose light is the glory of God. This is the kingdom of priests who reign for ever and ever.
Musical Selection

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.

All-provident God,
when we were sunk in sin and death
you turned toward us
and rescued us by the incarnation of your only Son.
Grant that we who acknowledge his coming with reverent love
may also be one with him, our Lord and Redeemer,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.