(USA) SAINT ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE, VIRGIN (OPTIONAL MEMORIAL)
I, John, had a vision.
Human language can scarcely describe the reality of heaven. The images John uses here—a sparkling throne, an emerald-like halo encircling it, flashes of lightning and peals of thunder—give us some idea of heaven’s glory and majesty (Revelation 4:2-5). The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel had a similar vision of heaven (see chapters 1 and 10). But in the end, no one can really describe the Lord God almighty and his dwelling place. It is something that we one day hope to experience, but until then, we can only live in faith, trusting that we will be filled with joy when we finally see God our Father face-to-face.
That’s what’s so amazing about the Eucharist. At every Mass, ordinary bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, right before our eyes. When the priest raises the Host and Chalice at the consecration, the bread and wine don’t look outwardly different. But Jesus is present in them, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. God is really with us in all his majesty and glory—and in his mercy, he has provided us a way to see him, touch him, and even consume him.
In John’s vision in today’s first reading(Revelation 4:1-10), whenever the four living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to God, the twenty-four elders also fall down before their own thrones to worship him (Revelation 4:9-10). Praise and worship is the only appropriate response to God. It will surely be our response as well when we meet him in heaven.
Isn’t it awesome that we don’t have to wait until we get to heaven? Every day in prayer, as well as at every Mass we attend, we have the opportunity to give God thanks and praise. We may be sinners, but God is so generous, so gracious and merciful, that he holds nothing back from us. In his great love, he reveals himself to us and allows us to receive him into our own bodies and souls.
So how will you respond? By joining the heavenly choir that is singing even at this moment: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty!” (Revelation 4:8).
“Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power” (Revelation 4:11).
WORD AMONG US