November 26, 2018
I, John, 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. . . . These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been ransomed as the first fruits of the human race for God and the Lamb. On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished. Rv_14:1-3,4b-5
These are the ones, beloved, who gave their ALL for the Lamb, for Jesus. The NAB footnote denotes their number: “One hundred and forty-four thousand: the square of twelve (the number of Israel’s tribes) multiplied by a thousand, symbolic of the new Israel (cf. Rev 14:1–5; Gal 6:16; Jas 1:1) that embraces people from every nation, race, people, and tongue (Rev 7:9).”
Other commentaries reference the number 144,000 symbolically as “fullness (12) multiplied by fullness multiplied by a number too great to count (1000). In other words, John is not witnessing the sealing of a relatively small gathering of the elect, but an unbelievably massive crowd of people, a sea of humanity!” . . .
All wearing the mark of their Father on their foreheads – their Baptismal seal. These are the “Companions of the Lamb.” Some consider them as the holy martyrs. And yet, the Church fathers have tied this reading with Luke’s Gospel of the “Widow’s mite.”
Jesus noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” Lk_21:1-4
Just makes us ponder, beloved; How much of my “whole livelihood” have I offered to my Heavenly Companion? How much is eternity worth to me – with anything or even everything I can offer in this tiny chunk of time I have in this worldly tent of a body? You see, we are given all the resources we can possibly need, whether we live in abject poverty or in great wealth. Jesus wants US, all of us! And there should be absolutely nothing, save our own free will, holding us back from giving to the One who gave HIS all for us!
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