I saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne there was a scroll that was written on back and front and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a powerful angel who called with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ But there was no one, in heaven or on the earth or under the earth, who was able to open the scroll and read it. I wept bitterly because nobody could be found to open the scroll and read it, but one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and so he will open the scroll and its seven seals.’ Then I saw, in the middle of the throne with its four living creatures and the circle of the elders, a Lamb standing that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits that God has sent out over the whole world. The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne, and when he took it, the four living creatures prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense which are the prayers of the saints. They sang a new hymn: You are worthy to take the scroll and to break its seals, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought people for God of every race, language, people and nation and made them a line of kings and priests for God, to rule the world.
Together with the Apostle John, we cannot tire of thanking God for having given us His Son as the atoning Lamb…. Who else but He could be worthy to know the mysteries of salvation and the course of salvation history? The book remains closed, because no one can understand it by himself. There is no human understanding that could interpret it and transcend its true meaning. Only God Himself, through His Spirit, can make us understand it! That is why the seals remain closed until the Lord Himself opens them, so that in His light we can understand what He wants to tell us. The “how” and “when” is in His hands.
But we must read and listen attentively to the book of Revelation, because there are many passages and statements whose meaning we can already understand in the light of faith. Other parts will become clearer to us when they are fulfilled, or when we realize that they have already taken place…
Today we are invited to join our voice to the praise of the Lamb of God. In Him, everything has been placed in the best and most worthy hands. A God who loves us and who gives His life for our salvation; a God who is ready to offer His mercy even to the greatest sinner and bring him to conversion; a God who takes upon His own shoulders the weight of our faults, restoring to humankind all their dignity, making of them a people of kings and priests; a God who, like a meek Lamb, is silent before His executioners and prays for them…. In this God we can trust! The Lamb of God is the just and most loving God, and we know that He will do all things well!
Praise to the Lamb, as echoed in today’s text, helps us to find a deeper meaning in all the events of life and all the difficulties from which we have not been exempt during our earthly existence. The book of Revelation does not hide from us that we live in a world that is often far removed from God; a world in which demons also wreak havoc; a world in which terrible situations have existed, exist and will continue to exist until the End of Time… Nevertheless, and with good reason, the Apocalypse is considered a consoling book, because time and again it leads us to raise our gaze to God, so that we do not sink in tribulations or lose hope.
St. John’s sadness at seeing that no one could be found who could open the book is finally consoled: There is one who is worthy to open the book and its seven seals!
Likewise, the consolation for us is that it is the Lord who knows all the events and circumstances of life and even death. That is why it is so important to join our voice to His praise: human history is not just a casual course of often terrible realities! The Lord has intervened and, thanks to His Death and Resurrection, has brought us new life! “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” -St. Paul joyfully exclaims in light of the Resurrection of the Lord (1Cor 15:55). In view of this, we can live in hope and not lose it even in the face of the most dramatic events. The Lord will know how to bring everything to a successful conclusion, and in the end He will wipe away every tear from our eyes (cf. Rev 21:4).
We must therefore raise our gaze to the Lord, placing all our trust in Him. This is the invitation addressed to us in today’s reading! It is not the powers of darkness that will triumph in their work of destruction; although at times it may seem to be so…. No! The Lamb of God is the victor, and to Him has been given all power and all glory. Through difficulties and struggles the triumph of the Lamb will be manifested.
To this certainty we must cling in faith, and thus we will also be able to go through the difficult times with our eyes fixed on God. The Lord Himself tells us: “When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand” (Lk 21:28). If we keep our eyes fixed on the Lamb, He will always be our consolation.