While Revelation is the most prophetic text of the New Testament, it is not the only prophetic text. The Messiah offers eschatological prophecies (i.e., prophecies about end times) in the four Gospels. That said, our endeavour in this reflection will not be trying to uncover Revelation prophesies or attempting to tie them to contemporary events. Instead, we will find the Messiah in the book of Revelation.
The New World of God
To better understand this rather dense book, one needs to have quite a good grasp of the Old Testament in general and Genesis together with the prophetic books in particular. For our purposes, we will focus on Genesis. If Genesis 1:1 comes to us with the creation of heaven and earth, Revelation 21:1 offers us a promise of a new heaven and a new earth replacing the old heaven and earth of Genesis. If the sea in Genesis 1:2 was a sign of the primordial chaos associated with death and destruction, Revelation offers us a promise that such “sea” of chaos “will be no more.” If you see an imperfection in today’s world, rest assured it will be no more in the new temple, kingdom, and world of God.
The Feminine Archetype
Earth, Eden, Eve, and Israel were often presented as an archetype of the feminine. They all fell in one way or another. Earth was under the curse because of Adam (Genesis 3:17). Eden was abandoned because of our first parents’ sin (Genesis 3:24). Eve was to endure pain and possible death in childbearing (Genesis 3:16). Israel, God’s chosen people often referred to as His wife, end up committing idolatry after other gods.
The Gospel of Luke offers us Mary’s “yes” to the angel as the antidote to Eve’s “yes” to the serpent. The Gospel of John offers us the reference to Mary as “woman” in the miracle at Cana and at the foot of the cross reminding us of her as the new Eve and new earth. If the earth brought forth biological life, Mary brought forth Christ, the life of everyone. If Eve, who was called the mother of the living, brought forth dead children, Mary will become the new mother of every Christian (John 19:27) born again of the baptismal womb of the Church.
The book of Revelation offers us a vision of a woman clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars upon her head (Revelation 12). This vision echoes the old dream of Joseph where he sees a vision of Israel with the sun (symbolizing his father), moon (symbolizing his mother), and eleven stars (symbolizing the eleven tribes with him being the twelfth).
In Revelation, this woman is in labour and ready to give birth to the Messiah. This led commentators to identify the woman with Mary, the mother of God, or with the Church, the new Israel and body of the Messiah. The two identifications do not have to be contradictory. For just as Mary gave birth to the Messiah in flesh physically, it is our duty to have Him be formed within us day by day spiritually. Behold, the Messiah is within us if we abide in Him and Him in us!
A Mutual Yearning
“It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’ The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.” (Revelation 22: 16-17)
These words come to us in the epilogue of the book of Revelation. They echo the words of Christ to the Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John,
“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).
Ironically, the Maker and Giver of the water proclaims from the cross, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28). The Giver of the water yearns and thirsts for our return from the Cross as we yearn and thirst for His return from heaven in His second coming.
Therefore, the Messiah is preparing a new heaven and a new earth bereft of all signs of chaos, weeping, pain, and suffering. The Messiah is hidden in the womb of the Church with the saints brought forth from the baptismal font. The Messiah is hidden in the womb of our souls being formed day by day within us. He is identifying with our thirst for His return by thirsting for our return to Him from the wood of the Cross. We, who joined Him in drinking from the cup of suffering in Gethsemane in this age, will be reunited with Him in the heavenly banquet with the tree of life for food and knowledge of Him, that is eternal life (John 17:3), for drink in the age to come.
Our Father in heaven, may Your Kingdom come. May it be on earth in the age to come as it is in heaven now. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. As you come to us privately on the altar in the Eucharist, come forth and reveal Yourself to the world. We await your coming to grant us the living waters of Your knowledge in place of the seas of worldly chaos and the rivers of our tears. May Your hands that once reached down to restore our forefathers from hades to paradise in Your first coming be stretched forth toward us again uniting the new heaven and new earth in Your second coming.
 For more links between the two incidents, review last week’s reflection