Reading the book of the Apocalypse in these last weeks of the church year, an image comes to mind. This is machine in the engine room of an old-fashioned cinema. From the good old days, we can recall the sound of the old celluloid film. So reading the Apocalypse is like playing two celluloid films on the same machine. The two tapes are inserted into the machine at the same time. ‘This is the revelation given by God to Jesus Christ so that he could tell his servants about the things which are now to take place very soon…’ (Apocalypse 1:1) Powerful images from this ‘last tape’. They give hope and encouragement amidst persecutions. They assure us that the final victory is that of the Lamb.
While this powerful film of our faith is running, I would like us to see what is on the second tape, that of our lives. The Apocalypse shows the big picture. Our ultimate battle from a bird’s eye view, from above. However, for God, the parallel film is equally important. Our banal going and coming. Let us try to relate to the powerful symbols of the Apocalypse the week-days of ours. What are doing right now -attending our children, watching telly at the end of a tiring day is part of that big picture. The more powerful and dramatic these images are, the more our God is interested in our present. How our present life unfolds. How our particular life is becoming one with these ultimate events at the End of Times. ‘I know all about you… Know too, that you have patience, and have suffered for my name without growing tired.’ This conversation between Heaven and Earth is about us. It is about our present journey, about the state of love in us. ‘I have this complaint to make; you have less love now than you used to. Think where you were before you fell; repent, and do as you used to at first.’ It is so wonderful to realise that actually, in this very request, there are indeed two films being played. Where we are now; and where we can be taken by the Spirit.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..