My name is John, and through our union in Jesus I am your brother and share your sufferings, your kingdom, and all you endure. I was on the island of Patmos for having preached God’s word and witnessed for Jesus; it was the Lord’s day and the Spirit possessed me, and I heard a voice behind me, shouting like a trumpet, ‘Write down all that you see in a book.’ I turned round to see who had spoken to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of man, dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle.
When I saw him, I fell in a dead faint at his feet, but he touched me with his right hand and said, ‘Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld. Now write down all that you see of present happenings and things that are still to come.’
Second reading for Second Sunday of Easter
Our accounts of the Resurrection – like the very fact of the Incarnation itself – give expression in earthly and familiar forms to the ineffable and incomprehenisble. And sometimes we lose sight of that extraordinariness.
Not so in the book of the Apocalypse which revels in the mythic and the mind-streching images of the vision of John to engage with the meaning of the risen and ascended Lord and our participation in him.
Louvre, Paris. (c) 2017, Allen Morris.