today's other readings are Psalm 96 and Lk. 21: 5-11
The Book of Revelation is a fascinating and vividly intense sacred book. In many ways, it is the archetype of literary thrillers. There is the good and the bad, the holy and the evil. There are frequent swings between triumph and disaster, hope and despair, quiet and turmoil. And of course, it all leads to a glorious ending - the triumphant victory over all that is evil culminating with the endless reign of the Kingdom of God.
In today's passage there is an underlying message that God will right all wrongs. In this passage, Jesus, the Son of Man, with his sickle ready for the harvest, a harvest Jesus referred to his parable of the separation of the weeds from the wheat (Matt. 13: 24-43). In this harvest, there is much wheat - but there are weeds. The wheat is destined for glory; the weeds destined for the fires of hell.
As Tim Gray of the Augustine Institute puts it, this vision that St. John shares with us is not meant to scare the hell out of us, but to scare about hell. It is a vision that is powerful, a vision that speaks volumes. A vision that should make us stop and ponder.