Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 5,6-14

Then I saw, in the middle of the throne with its four living creatures and the circle of the elders, a Lamb standing that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits that God has sent out over the whole world.

The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne,

and when he took it, the four living creatures prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense which are the prayers of the saints.

They sang a new hymn: You are worthy to take the scroll and to break its seals, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought people for God of every race, language, people and nation

and made them a line of kings and priests for God, to rule the world.

In my vision, I heard the sound of an immense number of angels gathered round the throne and the living creatures and the elders; there were ten thousand times ten thousand of them and thousands upon thousands,

loudly chanting: Worthy is the Lamb that was sacrificed to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory and blessing.

Then I heard all the living things in creation -- everything that lives in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, crying: To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb, be all praise, honour, glory and power, for ever and ever.

And the four living creatures said, 'Amen'; and the elders prostrated themselves to worship.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John sees the Lamb "standing...between the throne and the four living creatures." Many years have passed since he heard the Baptist present Jesus to the people on the banks of the river Jordan: "Here is the Lamb of God!" (Jn 1:29). Jesus continues to be the Lamb who takes the sin of the world on himself. Jesus is presented as the "Lamb" twenty-nine times in Revelation. To explain this metaphor, a medieval author has commented that "the Messiah, a lion in conquering, has become a lamb in suffering." Jesus is always "as if he had been slaughtered;" that is why he continues to bear on his body the signs of the wounds of the cross, the wounds of his love for us. Love always wounds and is always wounded. The Lamb has seven horns, a sign of omnipotence, and seven eyes, an expression of his providential omniscience, which are identified by Revelation with the seven spirits, that is, with the fullness of the gifts of the divine Spirit. And the slaughtered Lamb is the only one who can open the scroll and reveal the ultimate meaning of history. He takes the book and breaks the seals. The vision echoes the proclamation of the Gospel in the Holy Liturgy. And in effect, taking the Book and opening its seals is nothing other than proclaiming and explaining the Word of God with authority in the holy assembly of believers. Jesus continues to be the Teacher today, the one Teacher of his people. In the letter to the Hebrews it is written: "Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son" (Hebrews 1:1-2). In front of the Lamb stands the heavenly court, which we could say includes all of history: "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, ‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might for ever and ever!’" (13). It is a true cosmic liturgy that sings the praises of Christ, for with his blood, he has redeemed all of humanity from the power of Evil. Jesus is the one universal saviour.