Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read Philemon and the story of Onesimus who was Philemon’s slave. Paul helps him become Christian just like he did for Philemon. Paul tells him “I am sending him back to you…no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother.” This shows hows the world could be if we all treated one another as brothers and sisters.
In Revelation John writes to persecuted Christians what worship looks like in heaven. There are images of the intercession of the angels and saints before God. There does come a point when time runs out and we are going to have to live by what we have chosen.
Lastly, John says “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple.” The Ark has been lost for centuries but there is the worship of God happening in heaven and it is happening here during the celebration of Mass right here on Earth.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 The Lamb then broke the seventh seal, and there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2 Next I saw seven trumpets being given to the seven angels who stand in the presence of God.
3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. A large quantity of incense was given to him to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that stood in front of the throne;
4 and so from the angel’s hand the smoke of the incense went up in the presence of God and with it the prayers of the saints.
5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it from the fire of the altar, which he then hurled down onto the earth; immediately there came peals of thunder and flashes of lightning, and the earth shook.
6 The seven angels that had the seven trumpets now made ready to sound them.
7 The first blew his trumpet and, with that, hail and fire, mixed with blood, were hurled on the earth: a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of all trees, and every blade of grass was burnt.
8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and it was as though a great mountain blazing with fire was hurled into the sea: a third of the sea turned into blood,
9 a third of all the living things in the sea were killed, and a third of all ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star fell from the sky, burning like a ball of fire, and it fell on a third of all rivers and on the springs of water;
11 this was the star called Wormwood, and a third of all water turned to wormwood, so that many people died; the water had become so bitter.
12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were blasted, so that the light went out of a third of them and the day lost a third of its illumination, and likewise the night.
13 In my vision, I heard an eagle, calling aloud as it flew high overhead, ‘Disaster, disaster, disaster, on all the people on earth at the sound of the other three trumpets which the three angels have yet to blow!’
1 Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven onto the earth, and the angel was given the key to the shaft leading down to the Abyss.
2 When he unlocked the shaft of the Abyss, smoke rose out of the Abyss like the smoke from a huge furnace so that the sun and the sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss,
3 and out of the smoke dropped locusts onto the earth: they were given the powers that scorpions have on the earth:
4 they were forbidden to harm any fields or crops or trees and told to attack only those people who were without God’s seal on their foreheads.
5 They were not to kill them, but to give them anguish for five months, and the anguish was to be the anguish of a scorpion’s sting.
6 When this happens, people will long for death and not find it anywhere; they will want to die and death will evade them.
7 These locusts looked like horses armoured for battle; they had what looked like gold crowns on their heads, and their faces looked human,
8 and their hair was like women’s hair, and teeth like lion’s teeth.
9 They had body-armour like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings sounded like the racket of chariots with many horses charging.
10 Their tails were like scorpions’ tails, with stings, and with their tails they were able to torture people for five months.
11 As their leader they had their emperor, the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek Apollyon.
12 That was the first of the disasters; there are still two more to come.
13 The sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a single voice issuing from the four horns of the golden altar in God’s presence.
14 It spoke to the sixth angel with the trumpet, and said, ‘Release the four angels that are chained up at the great river Euphrates.’
15 These four angels had been ready for this hour of this day of this month of this year, and ready to destroy a third of the human race.
16 I learnt how many there were in their army: twice ten thousand times ten thousand mounted men.
17 In my vision I saw the horses, and the riders with their breastplates of flame colour, hyacinth-blue and sulphur-yellow; the horses had lions’ heads, and fire, smoke and sulphur were coming from their mouths.
18 It was by these three plagues, the fire, the smoke and the sulphur coming from their mouths, that the one third of the human race was killed.
19 All the horses’ power was in their mouths and their tails: their tails were like snakes, and had heads which inflicted wounds.
20 But the rest of the human race, who escaped death by these plagues, refused either to abandon their own handiwork or to stop worshipping devils, the idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood that can neither see nor hear nor move.
21 Nor did they give up their murdering, or witchcraft, or fornication or stealing.
1 Then I saw another powerful angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were pillars of fire.
2 In his hand he had a small scroll, unrolled; he put his right foot in the sea and his left foot on the land
3 and he shouted so loud, it was like a lion roaring. At this, the seven claps of thunder made themselves heard
4 and when the seven thunderclaps had sounded, I was preparing to write, when I heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Keep the words of the seven thunderclaps secret and do not write them down.’
5 Then the angel that I had seen, standing on the sea and the land, raised his right hand to heaven,
6 and swore by him who lives for ever and ever, and made heaven and all that it contains, and earth and all it contains, and the sea and all it contains, ‘The time of waiting is over;
7 at the time when the seventh angel is heard sounding his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled, just as he announced in the gospel to his servants the prophets.’
8 Then I heard the voice I had heard from heaven speaking to me again. ‘Go’, it said, ‘and take that open scroll from the hand of the angel standing on sea and land.’
9 I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll, and he said, ‘Take it and eat it; it will turn your stomach sour, but it willtaste as sweet as honey.’
10 So I took it out of the angel’s hand, and I ate it and it tasted sweet as honey, but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour.
11 Then I was told, ‘You are to prophesy again, this time against many different nations and countries and languages and kings.’
1 Then I was given a long cane like a measuring rod, and I was told, ‘Get up and measure God’s sanctuary, and the altar, and the people who worship there;
2 but exclude the outer court and do not measure it, because it has been handed over to gentiles — they will trample on the holy city for forty-two months.
3 But I shall send my two witnesses to prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, wearing sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in attendance on the Lord of the world.
5 Fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies if anyone tries to harm them; and anyone who tries to harm them willcertainly be killed in this way.
6 They have the power to lock up the sky so that it does not rain as long as they are prophesying; they have the power to turn water into blood and strike the whole world with any plague as often as they like.
7 When they have completed their witnessing, the beast that comes out of the Abyss is going to make war on them and overcome them and kill them.
8 Their corpses lie in the main street of the great city known by the symbolic names Sodom and Egypt, in which their Lord was crucified.
9 People of every race, tribe, language and nation stare at their corpses, for three-and-a-half days, not letting them be buried,
10 and the people of the world are glad about it and celebrate the event by giving presents to each other, because these two prophets have been a plague to the people of the world.’
11 After the three-and-a-half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up on their feet, and everybody who saw it happen was terrified;
12 then I heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here,’ and while their enemies were watching, they went up to heaven in a cloud.
13 Immediately, there was a violent earthquake, and a tenth of the city collapsed; seven thousand persons were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors, overcome with fear, could only praise the God of heaven.
14 That was the second of the disasters; the third is to come quickly after it.
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and voices could be heard shouting in heaven, calling, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’
16 The twenty-four elders, enthroned in the presence of God, prostrated themselves and touched the ground with their foreheads worshipping God
17 with these words, ‘We give thanks to you, Almighty Lord God, He who is, He who was, for assuming your great power and beginning your reign.
18 The nations were in uproar and now the time has come for your retribution, and for the dead to be judged, and for your servants the prophets, for the saints and for those who fear your name, small and great alike, to be rewarded. The time has come to destroy those who are destroying the earth.’
19 Then the sanctuary of God in heaven opened, and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake and violent hail.
1 From Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus and from our brother Timothy; to our dear fellow worker Philemon,
2 our sister Apphia, our fellow soldier Archippus and the church that meets in your house.
3 Grace and the peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank my God, mentioning you in my prayers,
5 because I hear of the love and the faith which you have for the Lord Jesus and for all God’s holy people.
6 I pray that your fellowship in faith may come to expression in full knowledge of all the good we can do for Christ.
7 I have received much joy and encouragement by your love; you have set the hearts of God’s holy people at rest.
8 Therefore, although in Christ I have no hesitations about telling you what your duty is,
9 I am rather appealing to your love, being what I am, Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus.
10 I am appealing to you for a child of mine, whose father I became while wearing these chains: I mean Onesimus.
11 He was of no use to you before, but now he is useful both to you and to me.
12 I am sending him back to you — that is to say, sending you my own heart.
13 I should have liked to keep him with me; he could have been a substitute for you, to help me while I am in the chains that the gospel has brought me.
14 However, I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness, which should be spontaneous.
15 I suppose you have been deprived of Onesimus for a time, merely so that you could have him back for ever,
16 no longer as a slave, but something much better than a slave, a dear brother; especially dear to me, but how much more to you, both on the natural plane and in the Lord.
17 So if you grant me any fellowship with yourself, welcome him as you would me;
18 if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, put it down to my account.
19 I am writing this in my own hand: I, Paul, shall pay it back — I make no mention of a further debt, that you owe your very self to me!
20 Well then, brother, I am counting on you, in the Lord; set my heart at rest, in Christ.
21 I am writing with complete confidence in your compliance, sure that you will do even more than I ask.
22 There is another thing: will you get a place ready for me to stay in? I am hoping through your prayers to be restored to you.
23 Epaphras, a prisoner with me in Christ Jesus, sends his greetings;
24 so do my fellow-workers Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke.
25 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
16 She sets her mind on a field, then she buys it; with what her hands have earned she plants a vineyard.
17 She puts her back into her work and shows how strong her arms can be.
18 She knows that her affairs are going well; her lamp does not go out at night.