Book of Revelations is of a kind of literature which has not been popular
for a long time and which we are very likely to misunderstand and misinterpret.
It is not prophecy, the foretelling of future history, but a vision of God's
eternal concerns and accomplishments and how we fit into them. It is
difficult for us to approach the kind of God described here as "the One who
sits on a throne" or simply as "the Lamb," almost impossible to understand
the scroll and the seals, for the symbolism means little to us in our time
and culture --- and our very bad popular cinema has not helped us to see
such archetypes as the author intended. That does not mean that the
general sense of the passage is not clear.
The Gospel passage, on the other hand, presents a Jesus who is only too human
and whose message is only too clear. And therein lies a problem: does
his being too close to us, his words too much like what we would speak ourselves,
make it impossible for us to believe that this is the Son of God, God his
very Self, speaking to us?
So what face can God put on, what image can we his apostles show to the lost
and those without hope in order to find them, touch them, draw them in, and
heal them? How can God talk to all of us in a way that will get us
to listen actively and with passion, to listen and respond with our lives,
to respond with sacrifice and joy because of the word that we hear and the
Word that we invite to live within us?
I believe that the only way is for us to pray, to pray always, to lift our
minds and our hearts to God with all our strength and all our desire, to
place all our hope in His desire for us and His ability to heal us, to change
us, and to bring us to the fullness of His life.