Day 35: Ready the Feast

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.

Praise the Lord for his victory.

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.

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just.

# A Reading from the Book of Revelation

After this I heard what seemed to be the mighty voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; he has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

Once more they cried, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”

And from the throne came a voice crying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, “Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

# Reflection

Alleluia means “praise God.”

It is the song of victory, associated with Christ’s resurrection and also his final victory at the end of time.

The saints in heaven praise God for salvation—that he has saved his people from their sins and from the attack of the dragon.

They give him glory through their praise, recognizing the power that he exercises over all things.

This true power is at the heart of the revelation of this book, showing that he will have the victory.

The closing of the book in our last few chapters will have a more festive feel, pointing to the celebration of God’s victory and the triumph of his holy ones.

We often have seen contrasts throughout the book, and an important one surfaces here.

In contrast to the harlot, who has appeared in the last five reflections, we now see the bride of the Lamb.

The bride ascends to the throne, surrounded by the incense of the prayers of the angels, elders, and saints.

The harlot is surrounded by smoke coming out of her ruins.

She was garbed with fine clothes of linen and silk and covered with jewels.

The bride, rather, is adorned with the linen of good works that reflect purity and the brightness of faith.

Although the nations cry upon the death of the harlot, shouts of victory go up in heaven as the elders fall down in worship before God, and the rallying cry breaks forth: Alleluia!

We have seen many battles in this long war, but what happens at the end of a successful war?

Well, in the old tales, it was a marriage to the princess who was rescued.

We have something similar here.

Although the Church, represented by the Lady clothed by the sun, was pursued by the dragon and his two beasts, she was saved and brought to heaven safely, though through much tribulation.

St. Paul describes this process of rescue as Christ laid his life down for his bride:

>Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)

Now that the bride has arrived, the wedding feast can start.

The invitation goes out: praise him all you who fear him.

The holy ones are invited to rejoice—to take joy in the victory and the realization of their hopes—and exalt God by honoring him for winning the war and securing the wedding feast.

The celebration can begin for the final victory has been won, and all the elect are gathered in, which forms the Bride of the Lamb who now stands before him without spot or wrinkle.

The Lamb’s blood has won the victory, purified his bride, and joined her to him as the two become one: “This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32).

We have to allow the Lamb to enact this work of preparation in us, purifying us for this great union.

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just.

Let us pray.

Lord, as you call us to the great wedding feast of heaven, help us to wash our garments in your blood so that we may be ready to enter into the joy of your presence. 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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