Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Where are we going?
In one of Mark Twain's stories the young Tom Sawyer questions whether he wants to go to heaven. The descriptions he hears are of long robed people waving palm branches and singing hymns. This does not sound real exciting for him. Cwertainly this does not sound real exciting for any of us. But we need to re-visit an understanding of love and joy which we have found in the scriptures. The loving relationship we come to understand is one of completeness and selflessness. In a world that is overwwhelmed by lonliness, violence, and selfishness, it is difficult to perceive this place of light, happiness, and peasce which the scriptures allude to.
Every once in awhile we meet people, or have the experience, of selflessness. Not only are we beset by its depth and sincerety, but also by its power to change our lives. This is why the scriptures do not simply invite us to be "nice" to one anotehr, but to be profoundly loving. The prayer that is offered in the Gospel today has Jesus praying that we, the people he has redeemed, may be protected while we live in the world. And if we are blessed and graced by God, then we have the capacity to love boldly. Our focus is on eternal life while we live as people in communion with God. It's that 'Where Charity and Love prevail, there God is ever found.'
This goes back to this past Sunday in which our task is not about staring up into the heavens with longing, but being busy about the mission of Jesus Christ. Our society offers many challenges to our faith today. It is tempting to dilute the teachings of scripture and tradition and midigate the call to discipleship. Inspired by the Holy Spirit people of the Kingdom of God have to be a stumbling block from time to time.
Why can't we believe like everyone else? Because we are consecrated to the truth. That place of light, happiness, and peace, has to be our ultimate goal and reality. We get there by remaining focused and orientated on what is good. Anything else we are deceiving ourselves.