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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

Your Love Has Grown Cold (Rev. 2:4)

Submitted by on Monday, 15 November 2010No Comment
coldheart
  • Reading I: Revelation 1:1-4; 2:1-5
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 1 (Revelation 2:17)
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 18:35-43

The first reading is a composite of texts selected from the introductory section of the book and the letter to the angel of the Church in Ephesus. Skipped from this composite text is Revelation 1:5-20 which contains the vision which motivated John to write the book and send it to be read to the seven churches — presumably under his care — in Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.

The book of the Revelation to John is sent to each of the Churches with a corresponding cover letter:

  • Ephesus (2:1-7)
  • Smyrna (2:8-11)
  • Pergamum (2:12-17)
  • Thyatira (2:18-29)
  • Sardis (3:1-6)
  • Philadelphia (3:7-13)
  • Laodicea (3:14-22)

Each of these letters are structured with the following parts

  1. The command to write ("Write to the angel…")
  2. The Author of the Message ("Here is the message of …")
  3. The Body of the Message
    • The author declares his knowledge of the addressee
    • The author’s complaint
    • The author appeals/commands repentance and gives a warning
  4. Conclusion: "If anyone has ears, let him hear …" with a promise to those who will endure/prove victorious

As for the Church in Ephesus, author of the letter presents himself as the one who holds the seven stars and who lives surrounded by seven lampstands. This self-introduction corresponds to the opening vision of one "like the Son of Man" surrounded by lampstands with stars in his hands (1:12-16). The symbolism of the stars and the lampstands are the angels of the churches and the churches themselves, respectively (1:20).

The Author reviews the life of the Church of Ephesus, expressing knowledge of how much it has worked hard, discerning the spirits and proving the deceitful, and have suffered on account of the Author. They are even His allies with respect to the Nicolaitans1. He however has one complaint about the Church in Ephesus, and it is this: their love has grown cold. They are therefore invited to repent, to return to be as loving as they were before, otherwise they will cease being a lampstand, a Church of the one like the Son of Man.

In conclusion, the author promises: those who will be victorious shall be fed from the tree of life planted in God’s paradise.

A guideline for actualization

A key to the first reading is the invitation "If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches…" The phrase is similar to those used by Jesus in parables (cf. Mark 4:9.23; Matthew 11:15; 13:9). It is an invitation to understand. So how do we understand the message to the angel of the Church in Ephesus?

The Church in Ephesus is here being evaluated by "one like the Son of Man". It has worked hard, suffered much, hates a heretical group that has found acceptance in other churches…, in other words it has been faithful. There is only one thing that makes it less than what it should be: its former love has grown cold. It is therefore invited to renew that love.

  • Is your Church like this? Has it been faithful? Has it shown its faithfulness inspite of the hardships it has to endure? But is the former warmth of its love still there?
  • If your Church’s love has grown cold, how do you propose to renew its love?

Related Article

Revelation 1:1-4; 2:1-5
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by his angel to his servant John,
2Who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he hath seen.
3Blessed is he, that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy; and keepeth those things which are written in it; for the time is at hand.
4John to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace be unto you and peace from him that is, and that was, and that is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before his throne,
21Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith he, who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks:
2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil, and thou hast tried them, who say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3And thou hast patience, and hast endured for my name, and hast not fainted.
4But I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first charity.
5Be mindful therefore from whence thou art fallen: and do penance, and do the first works. Or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou do penance.
Revelation 2:17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
17He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: To him that overcometh, I will give the hidden manna, and will give him a white counter, and in the counter, a new name written, which no man knoweth, but he that receiveth it.
Luke 18:35-43
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
35Now it came to pass, when he drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the way side, begging.
36And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant.
37And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.
38And he cried out, saying: Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.
39And they that went before, rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me.
40And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto him. And when he was come near, he asked him,
41Saying: What wilt thou that I do to thee? But he said: Lord, that I may see.
42And Jesus said to him: Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole.
43And immediately he saw, and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
Revelation 1:5-20
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6And hath made us a kingdom, and priests to God and his Father, to him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
7Behold, he cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth shall bewail themselves because of him. Even so. Amen.
8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
9I John, your brother and your partner in tribulation, and in the kingdom, and patience in Christ Jesus, was in the island, which is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus.
10I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11Saying: What thou seest, write in a book, and send to the seven churches which are in Asia, to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamus, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.
12And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks:
13And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14And his head and his hairs were white, as white wool, and as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire,
15And his feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace. And his voice as the sound of many waters.
16And he had in his right hand seven stars. And from his mouth came out a sharp two edged sword: and his face was as the sun shineth in his power.
17And when I had seen him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying: Fear not. I am the First and the Last,
18And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell.
19Write therefore the things which thou hast seen, and which are, and which must be done hereafter.
20The mystery of the seven stars, which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. And the seven candlesticks are the seven churches.
Mark 4:9
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
9And he said: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15; 13:9
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1115He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
139He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

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  1. Who are the Nicolaitans? Check out the following pages:

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