The second reading at Mass this coming Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter, comes again from the book of Apocalypse.
I, John, saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. One of the elders said, ‘These are the people who have been through the great persecution, and because they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb, they now stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his sanctuary; and the One who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. They will never hunger or thirst again; neither the sun nor scorching wind will ever plague them, because the Lamb who is at the throne will be their shepherd and will lead them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.’
The gathering of the faithful, faithful despite persecution and trial, embraced by care, symbolises the Church. The assurance of future bliss offers encouragement in our present trials and stresses.
- For what do you hunger or thirst?
- What brings tears to your eyes?
- What present comfort or encouragement do you find in faith?
Saints of the Church, Chora Church, Istanbul. (c) 2002, Allen Morris.