Day 29: Fall of Cities

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us remember that we are in the presence of a holy God.

Be watchful today and attend to the Lord’s coming.

Take one minute of silence now, praying for God’s blessing on you, your family, fraternity, and all Exodus Men.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake!

# A Reading from the Book of Revelation

The fifth angel poured his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was in darkness; men gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.

And I saw, issuing from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of the false prophet, three foul spirits like frogs; for they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.

(“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments that he may not go naked and be seen exposed!”)

And they assembled them at the place which is called in Hebrew Armageddon.

The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a great voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”

And there were flashes of lightning, loud noises, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as had never been since men were on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath.

And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found; and great hailstones, heavy as a hundredweight, dropped on men from heaven, till men cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague.

# Reflection

“It is finished” (John 19:30).

These were the words of Jesus from the Cross.

That was the battle that won the war.

Armageddon may be the last battle, but it was already decided on Calvary when the justice and love of Christ’s offering of himself on the Cross definitively defeated the devil’s rebellion.

Armageddon, a field of many battles in Israel’s history, will manifest the final defeat of the enemy, and his emptiness will be manifest to all the nations.

He had his time to deceive and build up a convincing façade of power, enlisting the great power of Babylon.

Babylon was the power that took Judah into exile.

It was so sure of itself that it thought its kingdom would never end.

It was Nebuchadnezzar’s son, however, who lost the entire empire to the combined power of the Medes and the Persians.

The name “Babylon” was later applied to the Romans, who occupied the Holy Land and likewise ruled over the nations with a seemingly invincible power.

Peter even wrote his first letter “from Babylon,” meaning he was writing from Rome.

One of the overarching points of Revelation is to show that the new Babylon will also fall and will learn its limits.

Ironically, the Roman Empire came to accept the Christian faith.

It did come to honor God and sought to give him what it owed him in justice.

Although the Empire would fall in the West in 476, it lasted as a Christian Empire in the East until 1453 (commonly known today as the Byzantine Empire).

The fifth bowl revealed to the kingdom of the beast that it was in darkness, so that it could no longer claim it was in the light.

The true Light withheld the light from it to show its true emptiness and falsehood to it.

In response, however, the dragon, beast, and false prophet (second beast) breathe forth three impure spirits to deceive the world.

It is hard not to make the connection to the impurity sweeping over our culture right now.

These frogs are slimy, covering what should be pure with their vile grotesqueness, corrupting beauty and love.

We, rather, have to live in the light, seeing things for what they are and appreciating the purity and goodness of true beauty.

In contrast to Babylon, Revelation speaks of the great city, Jerusalem, which is a symbol of God’s holy city on earth.

Even Jerusalem, however, will not be spared the signs that accompany the end, such as the earth itself shaking.

All earthly cities will be overthrown.

We have to remember this, even as we work for the good of our own nation.

Ultimately, however, we seek a city that is to come (Hebrews 13:14), where the true fruit of our labor will be seen.

Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake!

Let us pray.

Lord, confirm us in your truth and goodness. Help us to live a pure life in the darkness of this world. Amen.

Saint Michael the archangel, pray for us.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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