Every Catholic is familiar with the Eight Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, but did you know there are seven beatitudes in the Book of Revelation?
It might surprise you, but the Book of Revelation, which tells the story of the end of world including figures like a seven headed red dragon, lion-horses, locusts with scorpion tails, and even falling stars – includes blessings: seven of them.
These seven blessings are the beatitudes of the apocalypse, not to be mistaken with the Eight Beatitudes from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. Below they are presented in the order they appear in Revelation.
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.”
The first is a call to heed the words of Scripture. Elsewhere in the Bible, the Greek for heed, téreó, is used in relation to keeping the Ten Commandments or the words of Jesus.
“I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ said the Spirit, ‘let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them.'”
The second contrasts the two verses prior to it, which describe torments in Hell of those who die under the Mark of the Beast.
“‘Behold, I am coming like a thief.’ Blessed is the one who watches and keeps his clothes ready, so that he may not go naked and people see him exposed.”
A parable, the third tells the Faithful to keep their clothes ready, i.e free of sin and in grace with God, so they may be ready for the Second Coming.
“Then the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.'”
The fourth is in reference to Luke 14:15: “Blessed is the one who will dine in the kingdom of God.” – a blessing on the Holy Ones, the saints in Heaven.
“Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over these; they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for [the] thousand years.”
Exegesis believes the first resurrection to be those born again in the Holy Spirit through baptism and holding the Faith, or simply Christ’s Resurrection.
“‘Behold, I am coming soon.’ Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.”
A more solemn warning of the first, after all have been read.
“Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of life and enter the city through its gates.”
Wash their robes refers to having been washing in the Blood of Lamb.