Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 21,1-8

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea.

I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride dressed for her husband.

Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, 'Look, here God lives among human beings. He will make his home among them; they will be his people, and he will be their God, God-with-them.

He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness or pain. The world of the past has gone.'

Then the One sitting on the throne spoke. 'Look, I am making the whole of creation new. Write this, "What I am saying is trustworthy and will come true."

Then he said to me, 'It has already happened. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give water from the well of life free to anybody who is thirsty;

anyone who proves victorious will inherit these things; and I will be his God and he will be my son.

But the legacy for cowards, for those who break their word, or worship obscenities, for murderers and the sexually immoral, and for sorcerers, worshippers of false gods or any other sort of liars, is the second death in the burning lake of sulphur.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the seventh vision, the final and definitive one. John sees "a new heaven and a new earth." The adjective "new" does not indicate chronological or material newness but perfection and definitiveness. Paul, for example, writes to the Corinthians: "If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" (2 Cor 5:17). In order to indicate and describe this "newness", the apostle draws from the prophet Isaiah, who sings of Israel’s return from Babylonian slavery as if it were the beginning of "new heavens and a new earth" (Is 65:17, 66:22) and describes the renewed covenant between the Lord and his people in terms of a wedding (Is 61:10). So John sees "the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven." From the throne placed in the heart of the heavenly city resounds a voice that weaves together biblical citations (mostly taken from Isaiah) to describe the end of the old world and its procession of suffering, death, distance from God, and sin. The Lord will walk through the streets, wiping away the tears from the faces of those who suffer and making smiles blossom (Is 25:8). Death, affliction, weeping, and toil will be expelled from the city. The old world, the one marked by the injustice and slavery of the Beast, will vanish to make room for light and joy: "Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old" (Is 43:18). God himself speaks and confirms the absolute newness of his work with a solemn declaration. For the first time in the book we hear words spoken directly by God: "See, I am making all things new." It is the affirmation of the end of Revelation. God’s plan for history has finally been carried out: all peoples and all nations have been gathered into one family in the holy city. John writes: "He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them." This new world, however, is not just something to wait for and to invoke; it is something that needs to be built, day by day, through the work of every believer and every just person. Whether they see him or not, Jesus is close to them all, "to make all things new." Whoever trusts in the Lord and not in his own idols, which inexorably lead to the bottomless pit, will become a citizen and a builder of the holy city, the homeland of all of God’s children.