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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

The White Garment and a Victory Dinner

Submitted by on Tuesday, 18 November 2008No Comment
  • Reading I: Revelation 3:1-6,14-22
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 15:2-3,5
  • Gospel Reading:  Luke 19:1-10



The selection from the cover letters to Sardis and Laodicea are now presented.  The selection from the letter to Laodicea is well-known, especially because of the phrase "because you are lukewarm … I will spit you out of my mouth" and the statement:  "Behold, I stand at the door and knock…"  Both these quotes however have to be understood within the context where they appear. 

The Church in Laodicea is being admonished because of the pride they have in their wealth.  Laodicea was a fashion center known for the garments they make.  Laodicea was rich because of its main export, and because of this, it is lukewarm in its commitment to the Lord.  Its case is very much like Northern Israel in the Old Testament:  because of their wealth, they forgot the Lord.  The admonition of the Lord is that they turn their eyes to the true wealth that only the Lord provides. 

From this cover letter to Laodicea, one should also take this quote:  "Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise."  It is a saying that one could use for reflection and meditation.  The reference to dining here, is to the eschatological banquet:  the "party" that will be held for the wedding of the Lamb and His Bride.

In both the letters to Sardis and Laodicea, "white garments" are mentioned.  These are the garments that later on will be referred to as "washed in the blood of the Lamb" — the garments of martyrdom.  Reference is also made to "unsoiled garments" and indirectly to "soiled" ones.  The allussion is clear:  these are the garments of baptism which symbolize the Christian dignity (cf. Rite of Baptism).  There is a continuity between the unsoiled garments those in Sardis and the white garments of the victor:  it is the same robe kept clean and used in the victory procession later on in the book.  It is the robe that the Christian is admonished to keep unblemished until the coming of the Lord.


Read an explanation of the Gospel reading here: Today, Salvation Has Entered This House
Revelation 3:1-6,14-22
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1And to the angel of the church of Sardis, write: These things saith he, that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast the name of being alive: and thou art dead.
2Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God.
3Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance. If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee.
4But thou hast a few names in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white, because they are worthy.
5He that shall overcome, shall thus be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
14And to the angel of the church of Laodicea, write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the beginning of the creation of God:
15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot.
16But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.
17Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
18I counsel thee to buy of me gold fire tried, that thou mayest be made rich; and mayest be clothed in white garments, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear; and anoint thy eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore, and do penance.
20Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
Psalm 15:2-3,5
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
2He that walketh without blemish, and worketh justice:
3He that speaketh truth in his heart, who hath not used deceit in his tongue: Nor hath done evil to his neighbour: nor taken up a reproach against his neighbours.
5He that hath not put out his money to usury, nor taken bribes against the innocent: He that doth these things shall not be moved for ever.
Luke 19:1-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1And entering in, he walked through Jericho.
2And behold, there was a man named Zacheus, who was the chief of the publicans, and he was rich.
3And he sought to see Jesus who he was, and he could not for the crowd, because he was low of stature.
4And running before, he climbed up into a sycamore tree, that he might see him; for he was to pass that way.
5And when Jesus was come to the place, looking up, he saw him, and said to him: Zacheus, make haste and come down; for this day I must abide in thy house.
6And he made haste and came down; and received him with joy.
7And when all saw it, they murmured, saying, that he was gone to be a guest with a man that was a sinner.
8But Zacheus standing, said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man of any thing, I restore him fourfold.
9Jesus said to him: This day is salvation come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.
10For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

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