Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 2,18-29

'Write to the angel of the church in Thyatira and say, "Here is the message of the Son of God who has eyes like a burning flame and feet like burnished bronze:

I know your activities, your love, your faith, your service and your perseverance, and I know how you are still making progress.

Nevertheless, I have a complaint to make: you tolerate the woman Jezebel who claims to be a prophetess, and by her teaching she is luring my servants away to commit the adultery of eating food which has been sacrificed to idols.

I have given her time to repent but she is not willing to repent of her adulterous life.

Look, I am consigning her to a bed of pain, and all her partners in adultery to great hardship, unless they repent of their practices;

and I will see that her children die, so that all the churches realise that it is I who test motives and thoughts and repay you as your deeds deserve.

But on the rest of you in Thyatira, all of you who have not accepted this teaching or learnt the deep secrets of Satan, as they are called, I am not laying any other burden;

but hold on firmly to what you already have until I come.

To anyone who proves victorious, and keeps working for me until the end, I will give the authority over the nations

which I myself have been given by my Father, to rule them with an iron sceptre and shatter them like so many pots.

And I will give such a person the Morning Star.

Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches."


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the longest of the seven letters, and it is addressed to the Christian community of Thyatira. Thyatira was home to Lydia, the first Christian converted on European soil (Acts 16:14-15). This is the only time in Revelation that Jesus presents himself as the "Son of God." And he rebukes the Christians of Thyatira for giving in to the very grave danger of becoming similar to the world. Indeed, in this community, the problem is not love or truth in faith but rather the compromise with the mentality of the world. Jezebel was a queen of Phoenician origin, the wife of the king of Israel Ahab, the implacable enemy of the prophet Elijah, and the artisan of the degeneration of the Jewish people towards idolatrous cults, which the Bible calls "prostitution." The reference to her here is meant perhaps to represent the part of the community (or the part of each one of our hearts) that pushes us to blunt the force of the Gospel, to debase it in its paradoxes, and to lower and bend it to the selfishness of this world (that is why the passage reads, to know "the deep things of Satan"). For this part of the community (or this part of each of our hearts), it does not seem to be enough to know the Gospel and observe it "without additions." These people reason according to worldly logic of strength and power and unite themselves to things that are foreign to the logic of God, that is, the logic of gratuitous love. This is the consummation of a real act of adultery: we betray the oneness of God in order to give ourselves over to idolatrous forces. Those who resist this temptation and adhere to the Gospel "without additions" receive true power, the power of love. In fact, those who love posses the entire world and are able to perform miracles that would otherwise be impossible. This is the "weak" strength of Christians; it is the strength that can change the world and change people’s hearts. The one who loves with God’s love, which is given freely and never asks for anything in return, is like the star that heralds a new morning in the darkness of human life.