A Reading from the Book of Revelation (Revelation 20:1-4, 11-21:2)
I, John, saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be let out for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgement was committed. Also I saw the souls of who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no peace was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the sea gave up the dead in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
The word of the Lord
Responsorial psalm Ps 84:3,4,5-6a and 8a (Rev 21:3b)
R/. Behold, the dwelling of God is with men.
My soul is longing and yearning
For the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh cry out
To the living God. R.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself
In which she sets her young, at your altars,
O Lord of hosts, my king and my God. R.
Blessed are they who dwell in your house,
For ever singing your praise.
Blessed is the man whose strength is in you.
They walk with ever-growing strength. R.
ALLELUIA Luke 21:28
Alleluia. Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Alleluia.
“When you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 21:29-33)
At that time: Jesus told his disciples a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees; as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Christianity, like some other religions, strongly believe in life after death. This belief is very consoling and encouraging. It spurs us on to live good and righteous lives. Everything does not end here at our death. After our earthly life, we shall receive the reward due to us at judgement time. God is pure/holy. Hence, if we want to live eternally with God in the “new Jerusalem”. We should believe in the good news and put into practice the commandments of God and the teachings of Christ. Those who do not believe in life after death/resurrection may live carefree lives. Their adage is “Let us eat today for tomorrow we die”. Such people should remember the three last things – death, judgement, heaven or hell. After death comes judgement, then either heaven or hell.