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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT
Ver. 1. A river of water of life, or of living water. It is spoken with allusion to the rivers of paradise and to the tree of life. Wi.
Ver. 2. For the healing of the nations, or Gentiles, to signify the call of all Gentiles or nations to this heavenly happiness. Wi.
Ver. 4. They shall see his face. Thus in a few words is expressed the happiness of the blessed in heaven; they shall see God, from which vision proceed love, joy, and everlasting praises of the divine Majesty. Wi.
Ver. 6. These words are most faithful. Here begins the conclusion and close of all these revelations. — The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his Angel to shew, &c. and in the 16th verse it is said: I, Jesus, have sent my Angel to testify: from whence we may understand that Jesus, as to his person, is the same Lord God with the Father, though as man he is the root of the offspring of David, of the race of David, as the Messias was to be. Wi.
Ver. 7. Behold I come quickly. Man's life is short, and at his death he must give an account to God. All time is short, if compared with eternity. S. John (v. 8) was again for casting himself at the feet of the Angel, though here it is not expressed whether it were to adore God, or whether it were by an inferior veneration to the Angel, often expressed by adoration. Wi.
Ver. 8-9. This is the second time the saint wishes to adore the Angel, but not with the supreme worship of latria, as he knew the object of his worship was only an Angel, and of course a mere creature; but the Angel, through respect for S. John, still refuses the proffered honour, (see C. xix. 10.) and to shew the holy society that was hereafter to exist between Angels and men, who were to compose but one and the same family. V.
Ver. 10. Seal not the words; as not designed to be kept sealed or secret, but to be delivered to the faithful for their instruction, that they may be prepared to suffer persecutions; that their faith, hope, and charity may be enlivened and increased by a firm expectation of their happiness in the next world, after short sufferings in this. Wi.
Ver. 11. He that hurteth, (by living in sins against God, himself, and his neighbours) let him hurt still; i.e. he shall be permitted; and he that is just, let him be justified still, and increase in virtues by God's assistance. Wi. — It is not an exhortation or license to go on in sin, but an intimation that how far soever the wicked may proceed, their progress shall quickly end, and then they must expect to meet with proportionable punishments. Ch.
Ver. 13. I am alpha and omega. See C. i. 8. Wi.
Ver. 14. That they may have a right or power to eat of the tree of life. A right grounded on the promises of God and his graces. Wi.
Ver. 15. Without are dogs; meaning unbelievers, and whosever loveth and maketh a lie, i.e. all the wicked, who have not walked in the ways of truth. Wi.
Ver. 17. And the Spirit and the bride say: Come. That is, the Spirit of God, who moves us to love and praise him; and the bride, i.e. the Church, the spouse of Christ, which earnestly desires to be happy in the enjoyment of God: and every one that heareth these divine promises, let him with all the affections of his soul, with his whole heart, say: Come. He that thirsteth after justice, the Author and Fountain of all justice, let him come and be filled gratis by the bounty and liberality of our merciful God. Wi.
Ver. 18-19. I, John, testify and bear witness of all the truths contained in this revelation: If any man shall add to these things, he becomes guilty of sin, and makes himself liable to the punishments and plagues that are written in this book. Wi.
Ver. 20-21. He that giveth testimony of these things, i.e. God, and Jesus Christ by an Angel, saith, surely, (or even so, or truly, these are certain truths) I come quickly, to reward the good and punish the evil. To which words S. John himself replieth with a zealous prayer and earnest desire, saying, Amen, let it be so. — Come, Lord Jesus: come, and remain always in my soul by thy grace, and make me partaker of thy glory for ever and ever. Amen. Wi. — Conclusion. The Church in sighs and groans, and by the mouth of her children, solicits the coming of Jesus Christ, her divine Spouse. The fruit to be drawn from the perusal of this sacred book, is ardently to desire the kingdom of God, to sigh after the day of eternity, to feel the weight of the yoke of the present life, and the disgrace of our exile, and to live here below as strangers. Enkindle in me, O Lord, this desire; enable my poor soul to join with the beloved disciple in this prayer: Come, Lord Jesus; that she may go and lose herself in Thee, who art her Centre, her God, her All.
END OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.