The doom of the worshippers of the Beast – Tuesday, 34th Week in ordinary time – Revelation 14:14-19
The text of today forms the tail end of the central section of Revelation [12:1–14:20] and portrays the power of evil, represented by a dragon, in opposition to God and his people. Chapter 14 tells us that those who worship the beast (the Roman empire) will soon be doomed. God’s eternal purpose is to be fulfilled and judgment is at hand. It is for this reason that God the creator alone must be worshipped and not the Emperor.
Today’s passage, like much of revelation, seems puzzling at first. Using very graphic images, John describes the end of the world in terms of a harvest. It is a vision of gathering together the righteous and the good, followed by judgement on the wicked. The actual destruction of the wicked pagans will be treated more fully later on (19:11ff). This text is in line with what Jesus says in the Gospel about judgment day; how the sheep shall be separated from the goats.