Archdiocese of Washington

I was reminded recently of one of my favorite hymns as I read the first reading at Mass. In particular these lines stood out:

[An] angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud [Jesus], “Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven who also had a sharp sickle……“Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth’s vines, for its grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage. He threw it into the great wine press of God’s wrath. (Rev 14:14-19)

Ah, yes, the Battle Hymn of the Republic:

Mine eyes have seen the glory

of the coming of the Lord:

He is trampling out the vintage

where the grapes of wrath are stored;

He hath loosed the fateful lightning

of His terrible swift sword:

His truth is marching on

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