From the Word of the Day
Then I looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. (Apocalypse 14: 1)
The last two weeks of the Liturgical year are accompanied by the Book of Revelation, the Apocalypse. Today, we also celebrate the Presentation of Mary in the Temple.
The hundred and forty-four thousand in John’s vision have the name of God written on their foreheads – they belong to and represent the just who have loved and lived for God. The number is symbolic (12x12x1,000) and speaks of Israel, universality, and eternity. The twelve tribes of Israel represent the way of organizing the chosen people that is multiplied geometrically to express symbolically openness to other ethnicities that the new Covenant in Christ has brought: there is no longer Jew or Greek. The thousand introduces us beyond time and connotes eternity and universality. The name on their forehead means they belong to God and to Christ. That name is a gift but also a conquest. They are there also because of their works; they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. They are martyrs who witnessed to the centrality of God in their life. Mary is the first among them. Her predestination did not make her response to God any easier in accepting to be the Mother of God and Mother of the Church.
Lord, help us to be always more and more coherent and continually integrate faith and life.
The voice of St. Augustine
Lord, You have created us for Yourself and our heart is restless until it rests in You.