During the start of the COVID19 quarantine, I decided to redo a study of Revelation that I had done a while back from my parish. The study is from Jeff Cavins who created The Great Adventure Bible Study. I’ve taken a few of his studies and can’t express enough how much I learned and refer back to.
I was glad that I purchased the audio tapes since I could listen along with my study in one room , while my husband in the front of our house, so not to disturb him.
With the pandemic still lingering over our heads with an increase of uncertainty, I thought why not add more to my mind and redo Revelation. Because those that know me, know I take stress very well. I kid. I kid.
Early on, I knew I could only read two chapters a day along with a lesson. And right from the start, the parallels of the readings were relative to the day. You could not help but be gripped in seeing that!
At the same time on social media, I would see posts about the rapture, end of times, Bill Gates using a vaccine as an indicator of the number of the beast, all news stories proving to be we are at the end of the world. Most of these, I dismissed and still do. Because my faith doesn’t teach me to get wrapped up in the signs, but to invest my relationship with our Lord. However, that’s not to say, the turmoil and chaos was expressing the same messages from the bible. Shocking? No, that’s what it’s about.
Most of the days, our attention and focus was on the virus, until May 25th.
On May 25th, a Minneapolis officer and a black man, changed the course of our country’s attention and impacted the world. George Floyd was arrested for trying to use a counterfeit bill at a deli. (See https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html). This resulted in a homicide. The officer was charged with third degree murder. There were three other officers involved, but have yet to be charged. This entire incident was recorded. It not only showed what the officers and Floyd were doing in the arrest, but you hear pleas for help from Floyd saying, “I can’t breathe!”
For over a week, our nation went from a somewhat relaxed, cautious position coming out of quarantine, to being thrown into bowl of anger, unrest, sadness, and hurt. For me it’s hard to gauge sometimes where the population stands because obviously, social media can make it appear one way, but we really don’t know. Those who are protesting this are using social platforms for the most part, but have taken to protests in city streets. By the third day, the protests began to ignite vandalism and destruction, burning down police stations, small businesses, looting, and spray painted. The scenes of the cities now look like the pages of a futuristic comic book.
President Trump initially gave a strong, sympathetic response to the death of George Floyd. Days after, when our country needed to hear more, as it only got worse, silence not only from him but our leaders as well. Police are now armed in riot gear, show up to the city protests everyday and night. Trump has now called for the National Guard to assist because the States are not doing a good job of combating the problem. The protest continue and are growing, however the dissenters are infiltrating the protests appearing as protesters and making it worse for the message. This is causing people to not pay attention to the issue but only look at the destruction. They can’t see that it isn’t just a Black race issue, it’s a spiritual war.
Back to Revelation, I remember grabbing my study and referring to a passage about the Red Horse rider, chapter 6.
3When he broke open the second seal, I heard the second living creature cry out, “Come forward.”4* b Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take peace away from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And he was given a huge sword.
Jeff Cavins spoke about this passage in the context that it meant civil unrest and international strife. Now, again, I’m not meaning to just point out signs. I don’t meant to just refer to each and every sign . But the fact is the enormity of this reality not just here, but in China as well, as Hong Kong is uprising against the government. I know this passage can definitely mean in a extreme case, and by the grace of God, because our prayer is great, it won’t become that.
There are Catholics, Christians, fighting together and fighting against each other. One is fighting for conversation, education and unity and the other wants you to see that it’s a liberal campaign. Those that detract from the message cannot see that Catholic isn’t standing up for one side only, it’s all the human race. It’s not just the Black man, but the law enforcer too. It’s the shop owner whose store front was burnt down. It’s the White faithful who loves their Church. It’s about the Hispanic community wanting a voice on faith based issues. It’s about change to open dialogue seeing each other with a deeper lens. It’s not about defense, it’s about aiming for peace and healing. Not carrying a rigid position that you’re not letting go of your opinions and/or beliefs for no one and nobody. How is the world going to get to a place of peace, a principle, a virtue from our Lord, if we don’t let go of ourselves to get there?
The World’s Hatred.*18“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.n19If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.o20Remember the word I spoke to you,* ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.p21And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,* because they do not know the one who sent me.q22If I had not come and spoken* to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin.r23Whoever hates me also hates my Father.s24If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father.t25But in order that the word written in their law* might be fulfilled, ‘They hated me without cause.’u