Revelation 22:17
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let him who hears say, “Come.” And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.

The last day of the year is a sort of little sacrament of the last day of time or the last day of our life.  It is a lovely thing that the last words of the Bible are fraught, not with fear or despair, but with expectation and invitation.  Scripture doesn’t conclude by saying, “Look, I’ve warned you for centuries and now you’re really gonna get it!”  It ends with the Bride, standing on her balcony like Juliet and awaiting the return of the Bridegroom in tingling anticipation.  It ends with a hand held out to every miserable and thirsty Jack and Jill in the world, and the glad invitation “Come!  Drink!”  For those who are used to thinking of biblical prophecy as an inventory of catastrophes, it’s a jarring thing.  But for anybody who has ever celebrated New Year’s Eve, there’s something familiar here:  Every New Year’s Eve is a death, but every New Year’s Eve is the start of the Year of the Lord’s Favor.  Come O Lord!  Maranatha!

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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