We are entering a time of further restrictions in the face of the pandemic. This afternoon, it is expected the the government of Ontario will be announcing further measures for Toronto, Peel Region and York Region to try to slow the spread of the virus. As part of this, all places of worship, including Nativity, are being asked to restrict attendance to 50, starting next Tuesday.
Strangely, somehow it seems appropriate that our readings for the masses in these final days of the church year (the new year starts with the 1st Sunday of Advent beginning in the evening of Nov. 28th), speak of a great reckoning and of the end. And the Book of Revelation which we read from these days is the book par excellence when it comes to reflecting on that final reckoning and the end.
Allow me, dear reader, to share some words of explanation behind today's reading
Leading up to today's passage from Revelation, the first six seals of the Lamb has been broken, and now is is a lull before the sounding of the seventh trumpet which symbolizes God's voice announcing judgment and doom. In verse Now St. John himself has a role to play in the sounding of the trumpet. He receives a scroll from an angel, which he is to literally eat. He is told that it will be sweet to the taste, as it predicts the final final victory of God and God's holy people over all who are evil; but will be sour in the stomach as it also announces the sufferings the holy must endure in before that final triumph takes place. (see Ezekiel 3:1 and the verses following as a reference) The command to John to prophesy to many peoples, nations, languages and kings is then fulfilled in his writings of chapters 12-22 of this book.
In these times of challenge, we are called to reflect on who we are and what we can do in the months to come. And let us pray for one another.