The Third Triumphant Mystery:
Victory in the Battle of Heaven and Earth
"Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was called 'Faithful and True.' He judges and wages war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems."
READING The Mystery in HOLY Scripture
Revelation 19:11-21, New American Bible, USCCB.org
Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was [called] “Faithful and True.” He judges and wages war in righteousness. His eyes were [like] a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems. He had a name inscribed that no one knows except himself. He wore a cloak that had been dipped in blood, and his name was called the Word of God.
The armies of heaven followed him, mounted on white horses and wearing clean white linen. Out of his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he himself will tread out in the wine press the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty. He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Then I saw an angel standing on the sun. He cried out [in] a loud voice to all the birds flying high overhead, “Come here. Gather for God’s great feast, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of military officers, and the flesh of warriors, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of all, free and slave, small and great.”
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered to fight against the one riding the horse and against his army. The beast was caught and with it the false prophet who had performed in its sight the signs by which he led astray those who had accepted the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped its image. The two were thrown alive into the fiery pool burning with sulfur.
The rest were killed by the sword that came out of the mouth of the one riding the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
Meditating on the Mystery: Place Yourself IN the Scene
(Using your imagination, try to put yourself in the scene…)
What a battle we have just seen! We heard that it would come, from the days of our youth, in partial and even sometimes fanciful descriptions. Warnings came and went. There were so many false prophecies of the final battle that we came to believe that it would never come. Perhaps it was not a battle at all, but merely a metaphor for some lesser struggle.
Oh, my, were we wrong. The battle did come, with fury, as foretold in the book of Revelation. Our very bones trembled at the sight of Our Lord, mounted on his steed, charging against his foes. Justice would have its due. Even the our brother John, writing his book, seemed afraid.
So many souls repented, just as Our Lord and his armies charged. As each repented, he was saved. Why did they not all seek such peace? Even when faced with Almighty justice, why did so many choose to stand against it? Why did they provoke his wrath when peace was offered to them with outstretched and pieced hands? Did we accept him, you and I?