Day 360: Heavenly Worship

Revelation 4:1-8 The vision of the throne recalls the prophecies of Isaiah (cf. Is 6) and Ezekiel (cf. Ez 1:26-28), while the four living creatures are reminiscent of the four angels who drove the Lord's chariot (cf. Ez 10:8-15). The rainbow signifies God's covenant with Noah (cf. Gn 9:8-17), and the imagery of thunder and lightning recall the presence of God on Mt. Sinai (cf. Ex 19:16) and the Mosaic Covenant. The twenty-four elders probably represent the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Twelve Apostles, the Israel of old and the New Israel. It has been suggested that the imagery describes the interior of Solomon's Temple; if so, it strongly ties in the earthly worship of the Old Covenant with the heavenly liturgy of the New Covenant. (CCC 1137-1139) 


Ch 4:5 Seven torches: These symbolize the Holy Spirit and his seven gifts; it also recalls the Spirit who maintained the seven flames of a lampstand (cf. Zec 4:1-6). (CCC 1831) 


Ch 4:7 The early Church Fathers associated the four living creatures with the four Gospel writers. The creature with the man's face is associated with Matthew, who begins his Gospel with a genealogy of Christ; the lion-faced creature indicates Mark, whose story begins with a voice calling out in the wilderness; the face of the ox points to Luke, since the ox is associated with Temple sacrifice and Luke begins his Gospel with the Temple sacrifice of Zechariah; and the flying eagle refers to John, whose developed and poetic theology of the Word of God took the Church's reflection on Christ's divinity to new heights. 


Ch 4:8 Holy, holy, holy: The threefold repetition indicates unsurpassed holiness. This phrase, derived from Isaiah 6:3, is repeated at every Mass in the Sanctus at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer. The triple repetition of the word "Holy" also points to the Trinity: one God in three Persons. (CCC 559) 


Ch 4:9-11 The singing of the living creatures represents the worship of the Pilgrim Church on earth, which is united to the worship of the elders, representing the just souls in the Church in Heaven. The celebration of the Eucharist, though celebrated here on earth, includes the saints in Heaven where Christ reigns with the Father. (CCC 293, 662, 2642) 


Ch 4:11 God created all things by an act of his will because he desired us to have a share in his life by showing forth his wisdom and goodness. 

Glory and honor and power: This recalls the doxology following the Lord's Prayer at Mass: "For the kingdom, / the power and the glory are yours / now and forever." This doxology aptly restates the first three petitions of the Lord's Prayer-"hallowed be thy name," "thy kingdom come," "thy will be done." (CCC 287-289, 293-295, 2855) 


Ch 5:1-5 The sacred scroll contains the details of God's plan, which will be unveiled slowly in the next chapters of Revelation. Only Christ described here as the Lion of Judah and the Root of David—is worthy to open and reveal its contents. For this reason, the scroll may be a type (TYPOLOGY!!), or figure, of Scripture, which is fully revealed only in Christ, who indeed is the fullness of God's Revelation to the world. (CCC 663) 


Ch 5:6-14 Christ is the Lamb of the New Passover who has been sacrificed but is alive again, risen from the dead to ransom all people through his Blood. His seven horns and eyes signify his omnipotence and omniscience. The song of the elders and the four living creatures attests to Christ's act of redemption, offered for the entire human race, and speaks of his priestly people, formed through Baptism and consecrated to God for his kingdom. This is the first of twenty-nine references to Christ as a Lamb in the Book of Revelation. (CCC 608, 1137, 1546, 1656-1657) 


Ch 5:8 The harp represents liturgical song, and the bowls of incense represent the prayers of the saints and martyrs, who intercede for the faithful on earth (cf. Ps 141:2; Rev 8:3-4). 


Ch 5:12-14 The angels praise Christ (the Lamb) for the glory of his divinity. The hymn of all creatures that follows praises both Christ and God the Father ("him who sits upon the throne") in similar terms that affirm the co-equality of the First and Second Persons of the Trinity. (CCC 328-336, 449, 2642, 2855) 


Ch 6:1-17 As the first six of the seven seals are opened one by one, we witness a panorama of human history, and more specifically of salvation history. The "four horsemen of the Apocalypse" appear as the first four seals are opened, symbolizing conquest, war, famine, and pestilence; some commentators believe the first horse indicates Christ, who ultimately will conquer the other three. This scenario resembles the terror that took place in Jerusalem around the time of the destruction of the Temple AD 70. The fifth seal brings forth the martyrs, who are told that their numbers will swell further before final justice takes place; the terrifying upheaval of the universe with the opening of the sixth seal reveals that no one will be spared God's judgment. The martyrs are memorialized in the liturgy of the Church and in her liturgical calendar. (CCC 1173, 1195, 2474) 


Ch 6:6 Denarius: This unit of money was equivalent to a day's wages for a laborer. Here it buys very little, perhaps a day's worth of food, the kind of inflated prices typical in time of famine. 

Oil and wine: Olives and grapes, from which these products are derived, are harvested late in the season and are to be reserved for later use so the famine does not become devastating. 


Ch 6:9-11 The martyrs are not vengeful but seek the complete conquest of evil. The white robes symbolize both purity and the final victory to come. (CCC 1138, 1370-1372, 2642, 2817) 


Ch 6:16-17 To "stand" before the judgment seat implies acquittal. No one who is steeped in sin can thus stand before the face of God and avoid his just judgment. In the Sacrament of Penance, the faithful can seek the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God in anticipation of the Final Judgment. (CCC 1470) 


Ch 7:1-17 Before the seventh seal is opened, a great multitude dressed in white comes before the throne to worship God. These are the faithful who remain in a state of grace during the trials and tribulations of the end times. The figure of 144,000 is not literal but symbolic; it is the number twelve squared multiplied by 1000. Twelve represents the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Twelve Apostles, denoting the Church; the number 1000 signifies completeness or a great multitude. Taken together, the number and description refer to all the spiritual progeny of Abraham, who God promised would become the father of a great nation, i.e., the new People of God united in Christ. (CCC 775, 1138, 1296) 


Ch 7:3 Reminiscent of Ezekiel 9:4-6, the elect are sealed on the forehead. This represents those who have been baptized and sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders bestow an indelible seal, or character, on the recipient. In Hebrew, the seal is represented by the letter tav (tau in Greek), which was shaped like a T and, therefore, was a type (TYPOLOGY!!), or figure, of the future Cross of Christ. Since the first years of Christianity, Christians have traced the Sign of the Cross on themselves as a blessing. (CCC 1235) 


Ch 7:9-14 The multitude of faithful from every nation that converges to worship God is the realization of God's will that all become one in Christ. The Blood of Christ forgives the sins of those who accept Christ's Redemption in faith. Washing in the Blood of the Lamb refers to the Sacrament of Baptism as well as those who suffer martyrdom for Christ. (CCC 2642)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)









(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Titus 1:1-4 In this personal letter to one of his co-workers, Paul expounded upon his qualifications to preach the Gospel and of his mission as an Apostle of Christ. Paul addressed Titus with paternal affection as"my true child in a common faith." His spiritual fatherhood in this case was probably due to having either baptized Titus or perhaps having ordained him to the episcopate or presbyterate (priesthood). (CCC 815) 


Ch 1:5-9 The role that Paul assigned to Titus, a Gentile convert, was to oversee the Church in Crete and to serve as its ordinary in the establishment of its hierarchy. Paul related the personal qualities required for those receiving Holy Orders variously called elders (presbyters) and bishops, although the distinction between the two is unclear. He emphasized the need for the Church's ordained ministers to have exemplary character, strong virtue, and sound pastoral abilities. The fact that Titus was given this duty suggests episcopal jurisdiction over this nascent Christian community. (CCC 938-939, 1554, 1573, 1576-1577, 1590) 


Ch 1:6 Husband of one wife: As was the case for bishops and deacons (cf. 1 Tm 3:2, 12), it was a requirement that a presbyter not be married more than once. If his spouse were to die, he was not permitted to remarry. While many in the ordained ministry practiced celibacy in the early Church, it was not yet a universal requirement for bishops and priests. (CCC 1599) 


Ch 1:10-14 As was often the case, Paul had to deal with false teachers, including some of the "circumcision party," those Judaizers who wished to impose circumcision upon Gentile converts. Paul advised Titus not to argue or dialogue with these people but simply to correct them with authority. (CCC 904, 2104) 


Ch 1:12 The quotation is from Epimenides, a sixth-century BC Cretan poet. Cretans did indeed have a reputation for lying, something that Paul himself evidently had witnessed. 


Ch 1:15-16 Purity of heart and mind fosters external purity. On the other hand, impure actions arise from impure thoughts and desires. Paul also addressed purity in another sense: The external, ritual "purity" of the Old Law did nothing to bring about internal purity, whereas internal purity effected by Baptism negates the need for the Jewish laws of purity. These external rites involving ritual cleansing foreshadow the Sacrament of Baptism, which affects a true internal washing away of sins. 

Their very minds and consciences are corrupted: Although we are capable of deriving knowledge of the natural law through reason alone, our minds can be clouded due to Original Sin. The faithful are obliged to develop and maintain a well-formed conscience. They profess... by their deeds: Faith requires a response to God's Revelation, expressed by a sincere effort to keep the Commandments and to live according to the will of God. (CCC 26-30, 37, 1795-1802, 2518) 


Ch 2:1-10 Faith must go hand in hand with the exercise of virtue. Faith is meaningless without obedience to the moral law and the practice of charity. Our good acts and virtuous lives not only express our faith but also serve as a witness to draw others closer to Christ. This effort constitutes a lifelong task. (CCC 1838, 2342) 


Ch 2:9 Slavery was institutionalized in ancient Rome. Paul did not condemn it, but he did encourage masters to treat their slaves with dignity, particularly when both embraced the Christian Faith. 


Ch 2:11-15 The grace obtained by Christ's Redemption brings us into a new life in Christ and assists us to grow in holiness. Grace merited by Christ brings about—in addition to remission of sin—a participation in the divine life manifested by the infused theological virtues and the moral virtues. (CCC 2, 802, 868-870, 1774, 1809) 


Ch 2:11 For the salvation of all: It is God's will that all people be saved. The universal call to holiness is his invitation to accept this salvation. (CCC 1719) 


Ch 2:13-14 Our blessed hope: A reference to the Second Coming of Christ, when he will appear in glory to judge the living and the dead. Through the Sacraments he instituted and entrusted to the Church, we look confidently to eternal life that begins albeit in an imperfect and limited way during our sojourn on earth. Christ's Redemption purifies us and forms us into a new People of God, the Mystical Body of Christ. (CCC 449, 1041, 1130, 1404) 


Ch 3:1-2 Christians are expected to be good citizens, obedient to secular authority except when its dictates conflict with the moral law or the dignity of the human person. Our conduct must always be virtuous in our relationships with believers and unbelievers alike. (CCC 564, 2238-2242) 


Ch 3:3-11 Conversion from sin involves embracing the grace of Christ and committing ourselves to a life of holiness in such a way that others are also moved to conversion. Our salvation in Christ obliges us to spread the news of that salvation to others. For the sake of unity and the edification of others, mindless quarrels and trifles should be avoided. However, anyone who would disrupt the unity of the Church with heretical claims and does not respond to gentle persuasion should be shunned so other believers are not led into heresy. (CCC 853) 


Ch 3:5 Not because of deeds: Salvation is an act of God's mercy apart from any effort of our own, and a life of faith is the proper response to this gratuitous grace of God received in Baptism. An increase of grace can be merited through acts of faith expressed in good words. 

By the washing... Holy Spirit: Baptism signifies and causes a rebirth by water and the Holy Spirit, which is essential for entrance into eternal life. (CCC 1215, 1996-2002) 


Ch 3:7 Justified: Freed from sin and endowed with righteousness from God's perspective. Through grace we are justified and adopted as God's children and have hope of eternal life in Heaven. Our union with God the Father through God the Son by the power of God the Holy Spirit gives a foretaste of eternal life. (CCC 1817) 


Ch 3:12-15 Those who love us in the faith: Fellow Christians, whose identity in faith ought to be evident from their love and peace with one another. (CCC 25)

Proverbs 31:10-31 This book closes on a high note with the description of the ideal woman. "Far from representing an unattainable model, she is a concrete image born from the experience of women of great value," said St. John Paul II. The wisdom literature, he added, "sees in woman's fidelity to the divine covenant the culmination of her abilities and the greatest source of admiration. Indeed, although she can sometimes disappoint, woman transcends all expectations when her heart is faithful to God" (General Audience, April 10, 1996).

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you so much for bringing us, once again, to this DAY 360. We ask that you please continue to walk with us. Continue to journey with us. Above all, we ask you Lord to please continue to guide us because without your guidance, without your Word, without your direction, we are completely lost. Help us to be yours this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”