Easter, the Second Sunday

“Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and when I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands...” (Revelation 1:12.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s Second Reading, Saint Irenaeus of Lyons writes:

“Neither Moses nor Elijah nor Ezekiel, who all had many celestial visions, saw God. Rather, what they did see were likenesses of the splendor of the Lord and prophecies of things to come. It is evident that the Father is indeed invisible, of whom also the Lord said, “No man has seen God at any time.” But his Word, as he himself willed it, and for the benefit of those who beheld, did show the Father’s brightness and explained his purposes, as also the Lord said, “The only begotten God, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared [him].” John also, the Lord’s disciple, when seeing the priestly and glorious advent of his kingdom, says in the Apocalypse: “I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And, being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks, and in their midst One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment reaching to the feet, and wrapped around the chest with a golden girdle. His head and his hair were white, as white as wool, and as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like fine brass, as if they were forged in a furnace. His voice [was] like the sound of waters. He had in his right hand seven stars. Out of his mouth came a sharp twoedged sword. He looked like the sun shining at full strength.” For in these words he sets forth something of the glory [which he has received] from his Father, as the head. He sets forth something of the priestly office, as in the case of the long garment reaching to the feet. And this was the reason why Moses vested the high priest after this fashion. Something also alludes to the end [of all things], as [where he speaks of] the fine brass being forged in the fire, which denotes the power of faith, and constant prayer, because of the consuming fire which is to come at the end of time.” (Against Heresies, 4.)

Reflection on this Sunday’s Scriptures.

God of everlasting mercy,
Who in the very recurrence
of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people
You have made Your own,
increase, we pray,
the grace You have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by Whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by Whose Blood they have been redeemed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen