May 15, 2022
The Book of Revelation alerts us to the strategies and attacks of the evil one today. But above all it gives us hope that God is leading history to His ultimate, eternal victory.
- John Mary uses Fr. Gobbi’s book, Marian Movement of Priest, to reflect on the symbolic language in Revelations that have various levels of meaning and interpretation.
- The Black Beast, like a leopard, acts in the shadows. It keeps out of sight and hides himself in such a way as to enter in everywhere.
- The greatest blasphemy is that of denying the worship due to God alone by giving it to creatures and Satan himself. Example, the black masses and satanic cults that prevent souls from being saved.
- The second beast which looks like a lamb, makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast through persecutions and being marked on the right hand or on the forehead.
- If the task of the beast like a leopard is to lead souls to perdition and bring them to the worship of false divinities, then the task of the beast like a lamb is that of destroying Christ and His Church.
- The Book of Revelation is very realistic about the battle. Your enemy is like a roaring lion prowling around ready to devour. We are called to be alert, not fearful, but with confident hope.
Father focuses today on the two beasts of the book of Revelation. The task of the first beast like a leopard is to lead souls to perdition, bring them to the worship of false divinities. The task of the second beast like a lamb, on the other hand, is to attack faith in Christ, building a new idol, namely a false-christ, and false-church.
Later in the book of Revelation John says, “I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies, gathered to make war against him, who sits upon the horse, and against his army, and the Beast was captured, and with it, the false prophets.” So that’s the false prophet is also referring to the second beast with the horns like a lamb, “the beast was captured, and with it, the false prophet, these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone. And the rest, were slain by the sword of him who sits upon the horse, the sword which issues from his mouth.” So, the book of Revelation is very realistic about the battle. But above all, shows us the victory of the Lord, and gives us hope, in that victory.
“All a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” Last week I said we were going to begin a three-week little three-week series on this book that we’re reading right now of the Book of Revelations, the book of Revelation, the apocalypse. And so last week, we had a passage from chapter seven. And this year, our passage is from chapter 21, the second to the last chapter. So, something happened, we skipped over the whole, most of the whole book, we skipped over. And so we’ll come back to this ending part God willing, next week. But I think it’s important to see what’s between seven and 21. So last week, we were looking at the book of Revelation as a book of faith, a vision of faith. And this week, we’re considering it as a book of hope, in the great conflicts of our world. So, that’s what we’ll be looking at today. And I’m not going to try to summarize all that that middle section, but just gave a few examples. And so, we are going to focus today on the two beasts of the book of Revelation. So, first of all the passage about the first beast. And I saw John says, so this is from chapter 13. He says, “I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with 10 horns, and seven heads, with 10 diadems upon its horns, and a blasphemous name upon its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard. Its feet were like a bear’s and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it, the dragon gave his power, and his throne, and great authority. And the whole earth followed the beast with wonder. Men worship the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast saying, Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it. And the beast was given a mouth out in haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for 42 months. And it opens its mouth to other blasphemies against God, blaspheming His name and His dwelling. That is those who dwell in heaven, and was allowed to make war on the saints, and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it.” So, listen to it says “All who dwell on earth, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world, in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.” And so perhaps what it means when it says All who dwell on earth is those whose whole life is just focused on the earth. “If anyone has an ear, let him here.” Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. And I think that the sound system just made it easier for you to hear, right? “They have an ear to hear,” here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. So that’s the passage about the first beast like a leopard. And so, a little commentary on that passage. And so obviously, it’s a symbolic language, and symbolic language can have various levels of meaning and interpretation. So, I’m going to be reading reflections on that from a book you’ve often heard me talking about them call the book of the Marian Movement of Priests, it’s a priest on Stefano Gobbi, who felt he was receiving a series of locutions. And this was from our Blessed Mother, and this was in 1989. So, I think it helps us to get a sense of the deeper meaning that these symbols can have. “In this terrible struggle, there comes up from the sea, to the aid of the dragon, a beast like a leopard.” So, it’s distinguishing the difference between the dragon and the beast, even though they’re working together. The dragon manifests themselves in a force of his power, power. The Black Beast, the beast, like a leopard, on the other hand, acts in the shadow. It keeps out of sight and hides himself in such a way as to enter in everywhere. He works everywhere with cunning, with the means of social communication, that is to say, through propaganda.” So, it’s a very different way of acting, one is to power and the other is much more to cunning and subtilty. The horn in the biblical word, because it talks about this beast, I think it said with 10 horns, the horn and the biblical word world has always been an instrument of amplification, a way of making one’s voice better heard, a strong means of communication. So, they would use the horn to, to speak and especially to shout and to blow the horn. “In fact, if the Red Dragon works to bring all humanity to do without God, to the denial of God, and therefore spreads the error of atheism.” So, the red dragon atheists, the aim of the Black Beast, is not to deny God, but to blaspheme Him. “The Beast opens his mouth to other blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name. The greatest blasphemy is that of denying the worship due to God alone, by giving it to creatures and to satan himself. That is why in these times there have been spread everywhere, black masses, and the satanic cult. It is acting by every means to prevent souls from being saved. And the satanic cults are becoming extremely open. And even movies and songs and music videos and even, and ceremonies like at the Super Bowl, and so forth, halftime ceremony is in the Olympics, and there’s a lot of code and satanic imagery, and rituals being used. And so, it spoke of, it said that this beast had seven heads. And so, this meditation goes on to say, “to the seven, theological and cardinal virtues,” that is the three theological virtues the faith, hope and love, and the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude, “to the seven virtues, which are the fruit of living in the grace of God, the beast counters with the diffusion of the seven capital vices.” Capital comes from the word forehead. So remember, this demon had seven heads. These are called Seven capital vices, because they’re vices, which are at the head of other vices and sins. “The beasts counters with the diffusion of the seven capital vices, which are the fruit of living habitually in the state of sin.” And so, to each of these seven virtues corresponds a vise that the beast opposes. “To faith, it opposes pride, to hope, lust, to charity, avarice, greed, to prudence, anger, to fortitude, sloth, to justice, envy, and to temperance, gluttony.” And so now it’s going to give a little extra explanation of about each other’s. “The first head bears the blasphemous name of pride, which opposes itself to the virtue of faith, and leads one to offer worship to the god of human reason and haughtiness of technology and progress. The second head, bears the blasphemous name of lust, which opposes itself to the virtue of hope, and brings one to offer worship to the god of sexuality and of impurity. The third head bears the blasphemous name of avarice, greed, which opposes itself to the virtue of charity, and spreads everywhere the worship of the god of money. The fourth head bears the blasphemous name of anger, which opposes itself to the virtue of prudence, and leads one to offer worship to the god of discord, and division. The fifth head bears the blasphemous name of sloth, which opposes itself to the virtue of fortitude, and disseminates the worship of the idol of fear of public opinion and exploitation. The sixth head bears the blasphemous name of envy, which opposes itself to the virtue of justice, and leads one to offer worship, to the idol of violence and of war. The seventh head bears the blasphemous name of gluttony, which opposes itself to the virtue of temperance, and which leads one to offer worship, to the so highly exalted idol of hedonism, of materialism, and of pleasure.” So that’s a lot, a lot a lot contained in those seven vices. So it says, These are the seven idols of reason, a flesh of money, or discord, of domination, of violence and of pleasure. “Thus, souls are precipitated into the dark slavery, of evil, of vice and of sin, and at the moment of death, and at the judgment of God, into the pool of eternal fire, which is hell.” So that’s a little meditation on the first beast, like a leopard. And then there’s a second beast. It says, “When I saw another beast, which rose out of the earth, it had two horns, like a lamb, like a lamb.” So, in some ways, it resembles a lamb, which is the symbol of sacrifice, and of the priesthood, and especially the symbol of Jesus Himself, the Lamb of God. So, it’s like and looks like a lamb. But it’s not a lamb. It says, “it spoke like a dragon.” So, it looks like a lamb, but it speaks like the dragon. And it makes the earth and it’s inhabitants,” so what does this beast do, it says, “it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast.” So, this is from the book of Revelations, “it works great signs, even making fire come down from heaven, in the sight of men. And by the signs which it is allowed to work, and the presence of the beast, it deceives those who dwell on earth.” Again, I think drawing on earth is not just all those who live here, but those whose whole life is focused on the earth. “It deceives those who dwell on earth, bidding them to make an image for the beast, it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast should even speak, and to cause those who are not worshipping the image of the beast to be slain.” So, this is the persecution against those who resist. “Also, it causes all, both small and great, rich in poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or on the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell, unless he has the mark. That is the name of the beast, or the number of its name.” And we know this more and more efforts to exclude those who don’t cooperate with the system, from any participation and our economic life. “This calls for wisdom, let him who has understanding, reckon the number of the beast, for it as a human number, its number is 666.” So that’s the famous number of the Antichrist. And so just a few excerpts, just on the meditation on the second beast, this is speaking about the evil which infiltrates into the into the interior of the Church. “If the task of the beast like a leopard is to lead souls to perdition, bring them to the worship of false divinities. The task of the beast like a lamb, on the other hand, is that of destroying Christ and His Church.” Of course, it can’t destroy Christ Himself, but it can attack faith in Christ, destroying Christ and His Church, building a new idol, namely a false-christ, and false-church. Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Light. And so, this beast, interprets word in a purely natural and rational, human way, emptying it of its supernatural content, and doubting even its divinity. So, reducing the Word of God to merely a human word.
And Jesus is the life because he gives grace. But the beast justifies sin, presenting it, at present it no longer as an evil, but as something good and of value. So, this destroys repentance and conversion. So, it’s attacking Jesus, the faith in Jesus. It’s also attacking the Church. After attacking the historical Christ, the beast with the two horns like a lamb seeks to destroy the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, for instance, in the name of false ecumenism, it puts aside what is distinctive about the Catholic faith. Jesus wills a united Church and the Beast contaminates the Church with confusion and division to destroy it’s unity. And in particular, it attacks the Blessed Sacrament, the Sacrament that we’re celebrating right now, in many and subtle ways, it seeks to attack the devotion toward the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, it gives value only to the meal aspect, and it tends to minimize its’ sacrificial value. That is that the Mass is the sacrifice that Jesus made present. And that again, I preached on this many times, because in our country, the great majority of Catholics are not even aware of that. So, this has been very successful. It seeks to deny His real and personal presence of Jesus in the consecrated host. In this way, they are gradually suppressed. All the external signs, which are indicative of faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, such as genuflecting, hours of public adoration, and the Holy custom of surrounding the tabernacle with lights and flowers. So simple, but very helpful signs. And so that’s just a very brief reflection on some aspects of this battle that is going on today represented by these two beasts. But you know part of it, in warfare, in modern warfare, and warfare throughout history, one of the most important things was getting vital intelligence about the enemy, that often made a difference between a victory and defeat. And so here the Lord has given us that vital intelligence about our enemy. And if He’s helping us to be realistic about the battle, also the book of Revelation is a book of hope, because it shows clearly the victory of the Lord. And I’ll just read a brief passage here it says, “much later, John says, I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies, gathered to make war against him, who sits upon the horse, and against his army, and the Beast was captured, and with it, the false prophets. So that’s the False Prophet is also referring to the second beast with the horns like a lamb, the beast was captured, and with it, the False Prophet, these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone. And the rest, were slain by the sword of him who sits upon the horse, the sword which issues from his mouth.” So, the book of Revelation is very realistic about the battle. But above all, shows us the victory of the Lord, and gives us hope, in that victory. And so, we discussed this already, several weeks ago, those of you who are here for Divine Mercy Sunday, we were talking about this in the book of Revelation, I want that that’s unfortunately, the homily that wasn’t recorded. But we’ll come back to that next week, come back to the victory, that at the end of the book of Revelations, or you can read it yourself, you can jump ahead, you don’t have to wait. You can read this, these passages yourself, and that that’s a good way to take advantage of the other graces of this time, is to read this book of Revelation. Remember, it’s the only book in Scripture, I think that that actually says, Blessed are those who read this book. And so today with the Holy Spirit with our Blessed Mother, who continues to alert us to speak through the book of Revelation, but also in many different ways today, continuing to especially in prophetic voices to awaken us to the subtle and dangerous presence of these beasts. So, we’re invited to be awake and alert yourself saying the same Saint Peter says, that I’ll be sober and alert. Your enemy like a roaring lion, is prowling around who to devour. So he’s is calling us to be alert, alert, the not fearful, but rather with confident hope. And that all is in God’s hands. And that’s why we come to celebrate this Holy Eucharist, recognizing the battles that we’re facing, but putting all our trust and hope in the Lord. And I’ll just end by reading another passage from the book of Revelation. This is talking about the seventh angel blowing his trumpet, the seven angels blowing seven trumpets. “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever. It’s a definitive victory. And the 24 Elders who sit upon their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped and adored God, which we can do right now as we celebrate the Eucharist, adore our Lord. And they said, We give thanks to You, Lord, God Almighty, who are and who were, that you have taken your great power and began to reign, the nation’s raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and the saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great to the time of his judgment and a fifth reward and for destroying the destroyers of the earth. Amen.