The Last Word
“To him that will overcome, I will give…”
The mysterious book of the Apocalypse—of which every word contains thousands of mysteries (St. Jerome)—can be summarized in these words which are heard as a chorus at the end of the letters to the seven churches, in chapters two and three.
Chapter after chapter, under prophetic language and images, St. John announced the history of the Church until the end of the world, a history of battles, of beasts and Angels, of temporary victories and losses, until the final victory.
Twenty centuries later, we see that Divine Justice has indeed used all kinds of means to purify men and the members of His Church, just as It had done in the Old Testament with His people. Then, He used the Egyptians, the Philistines, or the Assyrians to bring His people to their knees, to sanctify them, to lead many to heroism. In the New Testament, Divine Providence has not changed its strategy, for “all things work out for good to them that love God.” The scourges used by Divine Justice to chastise the world for its sins, and at the same time to purify the elect “as gold is purified in the fire,” can be tagged “Diocletian”, “Attila”, “Robespierre”, “Mao Tse-tung”. Whichever God will use for us in the near future, let us always live by faith and never forget God is always in command, as He was in the boat, sleeping, in the middle of the storm.
The last book of the Bible is a book of hope: the Lamb of God will always have the last say. “I have overcome the world.” He alone is the Almighty. He can even use the “dragon” and the various “beasts” to make him “that is just, be justified still: and him that is holy, be sanctified still.”
“Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.”
Fr. Daniel Couture