.- Speaking about the Canticle of the Apocalypse, âThe Judgment of God,â Pope John Paul II said during todayâs general audience that God condemns evil and rewards faithfulness.
Speaking to some 15,000 people gathered at St Peter Square, the Pope said that the Canticle is intoned by the âtwenty-four elders of the heavenly court, who represent all the just of the Old and the New Alliance.â
âIn this prayer,â he continued, âwe can hear the hearts of the just beating as they hopefully await the coming of the Lord to bring light to human history, so often immersed in the shadows of sin, of injustice, of deceit and of violence.â
The Pontiff explained that this hymn exalts âthe just and resolute judgment that the Lord is about to exercise over human history.â âHe is judge but also savior, He condemns evil but rewards faithfulness. He is just, but above all merciful.â
John Paul also explained that the Canticle recounts âthe duel between good and evil, between the Church and Satan; suddenly a heavenly voice rings out announcing the defeat of the âAccuserâ.â The accuser âplaced the sincerity of the faith of the just in doubt. Now the satanic dragon has been put to silence and at the roots of his downfall is âthe blood of the Lamb,â the passion and death of Christ the Redeemer.â
The Holy Father concluded: âAssociated with Christâs victory is the testimony of the martyrdom of Christians. The faithful, who did not hesitate to âlove not their lives even unto death,â participate intimately in the redeeming work of the Lamb. Our thoughts go to Christâs words: âHe who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.ââ