Reflection for August 15, 2018 via @thepassionist
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Revelation 11:19a; 12; 1-6a, 10ab
Psalm 45:10, 11, 12, 16
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Where Is Revelation Leading Us?
An enormous amount of study has gone into the meaning of the Book of Revelation over the past half-century. Scholars today are convinced that the author, John, using common mythological images and scenarios from the culture of his time and building on themes found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (The Old Testament), wrote to help the young Church to understand who Jesus is and what to expect in the “end times” ‒ the time after the coming of the expected Messiah.
In today’s first reading, the infant to be born is clearly the Christ child ‒ the Messiah. Less clear to twenty first century readers, the “woman” is Israel ‒ the gathered People of God, descended from Abraham and led by God (through Moses) through the desert. Through this People the Messiah has been born. Wilfred Harrington, O.P., in Sacra Pagina Revelation says: “By the ‘birth’ of the Messiah John does not mean the nativity but the Cross ‒ the enthronement of Jesus” and quotes Psalm 2, verse 7: You are my son, today I have begotten you.
We know from the Gospels there were persons and forces that actively worked against Jesus and his disciples. After His death and resurrection, the Church ‒ the New Israel ‒ continues to give birth to Christ in our day. And persons and forces of evil continue to harass mother and child. But Jesus promised: the Gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18).