Today’s reading: Revelation 10
In today’s reading, another angel appears. This angel stands astride the whole earth with is had up to heaven. It is unclear whether this figure is, in fact, an angel or whether it is the Lord himself. The angel has a “face like the sun” as Jesus did at the transfiguration. Also, the angel is surrounded by a cloud, again as Jesus was at his Baptism and the Transfiguration. I think the case could be made either way.
One thing that weighs in favor of this angel actually being the Lord himself is the Eucharistic overtones of the “little scroll”. The figure tells John:
Then the voice which I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll which is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, “Take it and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.” And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. Revelation 10:8-10
The taking and eating of the scroll can be thought of as taking and eating the “word”. Of course, Jesus is the word become flesh and we consume the word in the Eucharist. The scroll is both sweet and bitter because salvation is good news but it comes through suffering and the purging of sin.
Tomorrow: Revelation 11