In today’s First Reading we come to John’s vision of the Last Judgement. The thousand years in which the Devil will be imprisoned represent the time from Our Lord’s victory over sin and death in the Resurrection and the time he returns in glory. During those same thousand years those who sit in judgement at Our Lord’s side are those who’ve been victorious over sin and death through baptism and reign with Our Lord. After that time even the Devil will be released briefly to face judgement at the end of time. On that day everyone will be raised from the dead and face final judgement before Our Lord himself.
In today’s Gospel Our Lord says that heaven and earth will pass away, but his Word will never pass away. That Word of life in this moment becomes a moment of glory for those who did not succumb to the Devil or the beast, and a Word that makes the unrepentant realize they’d made the biggest mistake of their life. The world as they know it, and we know it, will be over. The sea in John’s vision disappears because it was the home of the dragon. The just will form part of the new Jerusalem, the spotless bride of the Lamb–the Church–living in a new Heaven and Earth.
Christ’s reign has already begun and those who strive for holiness already reign with him. Let’s continue to work so that others reign with us: by sharing the Gospel with them.