CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Unlocking the Book of Revelation

HONG KONG (SE): Father Devin Roza, from the Legionaries of Christ, was in Hong Kong for a week-long series of talks centred on unlocking the complex and often misunderstood symbols contained in the Book of Revelation.

Five talks were scheduled at various churches around Hong Kong, with the first on Easter Sunday, March 27, at St. Teresa’s parish in Kowloon.

Dissecting the contents of the sacred text in chronological order, Father Roza presented them in terms that are more readily accessible to everyday bible readers, who are often intrigued, as much as they are intimidated, by its vivid imagery.

With good use of visual aids, modern day comparisons and meticulous studies, passages found in the Old Testament were presented in response to questions such as: Is the end near? What is the meaning of 666? Who is the Whore of Babylon? and what does it mean to us today?

In addition to expanding on the message proclaimed in the Book of Revelation, Father Roza also arranged for a special talk on the Philosophy and Message of Recent Cartoons, geared towards parents and young people.

Using examples from recent animated films such as Ratatouille and Frozen and Wreck-it Ralph, the presentation examined the values and beliefs reflected in our current pop culture and how they can shape and influence people and society at large. 

Every session saw upwards of 150 people attending, despite at times the discomfort imposed by the space limitations, while praise and worship sessions were led by volunteer musicians.

It was appropriate that the programme ended on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3.

As the modern day Church continues its pilgrimage through this time of trouble and uncertainty, the Book of Revelation provides guidance and counsel that is as relevant today as 2,000 years ago.

As readers, we are reminded of the merciful love of God, which is portrayed in the war between the Lamb and the Dragon; in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

As Pope John Paul II said, “Apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind.”

Father Roza is a visiting professor of New Testament at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome. He holds a licentiate degree in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute and a licentiate in philosophy from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.

He is also the author of the book, Fulfilled in Christ: The Sacraments–A Guide to Symbols and Types in the Bible Tradition.

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