By: Allison Ramirez
We are several weeks into our Bible Study on the book of Revelation – the very last book in the New Testament, attributed to the apostle John during his exile on the island of Patmos around the time the Jewish temple was destroyed in 70AD, about forty years after the time of Christ. While the book of Revelation might conjure up images of the ‘apocalyptic end times,’ such as the modern day view of the reapture, the book of Revelation is instead an ‘unveiling’ (as the root word apokalypsis actually means ‘to pull back the veil’) first of the bridegroom (christ) and then his bridegroom (the church).
At the center of the book of Revelation is the emphasis on liturgy, particularly how much our earthly liturgy is based on the heavenly liturgy that John experiences in several visions being taken up into heaven. The premise of the book is seven letters written to the seven churches that were connected along a mail route through Asia Minor during a time of great persecution for the early church by Rome. The letters include both encouragement and a call to repentance to these seven churches and also represent the ending of one age and the ushering in of a new age with Christ at the heart. The book of Revelation contains more than five hundred allusions to texts and prophesies within the Old Testament. Of particular relevance to the book of Revelation is the book of Daniel, of which many of the images, numbers, colors, and creatures within the book of Revelation can be referred back to.
The book of revelation reveals to us what is happening behind the scenes at every mass, where God reigns victories over sin, evil, and death. In the book of revelation, we are called to examine our lives and where we are thriving in our relationship with Christ, as well as those places where we are being called to continually grow as disciples. Revelation is a beautiful book revealing our ultimate destiny and the splendor of the kingdom.