After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth became illumined by his splendor. He cried out in a mighty voice: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great. She has become a haunt for demons. She is a cage for every unclean spirit, a cage for every unclean bird, (a cage for every unclean) and disgusting (beast). For all the nations have drunk the wine of her licentious passion. The kings of the earth had intercourse with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her drive for luxury.” Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Depart from her, my people, so as not to take part in her sins and receive a share in her plagues, for her sins are piled up to the sky, and God remembers her crimes. Pay her back as she has paid others. Pay her back double for her deeds. Into her cup pour double what she poured. To the measure of her boasting and wantonness repay her in torment and grief; for she said to herself, ‘I sit enthroned as queen; I am no widow, and I will never know grief.’ Therefore, her plagues will come in one day, pestilence, grief, and famine; she will be consumed by fire. For mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”
Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
In both passages, one finds feminine imagery. Thr first woman is a woman of luxury and promiscuity and she revieves punishment. The second woman suffers and recievea joy. Yet, we find that the sexond woman has both purpuse and joy throughout her endeavors while the firat woman has doubt and denial despite her endeavors. The worldy life does not satisfy. The divine life, which involves suffering for a purpose, in the midst of which one discovers joy.
Lord, have mercy on us and save us.
Lord of might,
we beg you to hear our prayer and petitions.
Restore our consciences that have been deformed by sin,
dress our wounds,
and pour upon us the oil of your kindness.
Thus, walking calm and secure amid the waves of this world’s
we shall offer you at all times the fruits of thanksgiving pleasing to you.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to you be glory,
now and forever.