The Second Triumphant Mystery:
The Presentation of the Elect
"After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people... They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches."
READING The Mystery in HOLY Scripture
Revelation 7:9-17, New American Bible, USCCB.org
After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”
All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed: “Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “For this reason they stand before God’s throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them. For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Meditating on the Mystery: Place Yourself IN the Scene
(Using your imagination, try to put yourself in the scene…)
We are with John, my friend, when he sees this 144,000 presented to God in grand triumphal fashion. Such joy! They cry out, each one, with so much happiness and love that we cannot help but weep. We weep for joy, you and I, and their joy becomes our own.
There are so many faces in the crowd – more than we can count. We see some like us, from our own nation, with faces like ours. A relative here, a friend there. Great saints are among them as well. You look, and I do. We scan the crowd seeking familiar faces. Jerome is there, faithful translator of the Scripture. And Stephen, the martyr. Lucy, Agnes, Felicity, Perpetua.
A group of Roman soldiers stands together, arm-in-arm, singing a joyful song in old Latin. You realize that one was there at the crucifixion ... did he convert soon after, or at his death? A former pope embraces a freed African slave. So many faces, so many tongues! Men and women are there from all corners of the earth. A martyr from China places a motherly kiss on the check of her captor, a guard who found Christ decades after she was slain. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, priests, and repentant sinners, together. And saints! So many saints.
Oh, how we wish to join them, you and I! Our hearts burn for the joy that they feel.
Now we ponder how small the sufferings and the mortifications of our lives are compared to what these valiant have faced. We resolve to never shrink in the face of suffering again.