“I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away…”God” will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” (Rev. 21: 1, 3-4)
John had a vision of a different kind of world. Revelations was written when Christians were experiencing persecution. Revelations provides a vision to give them hope. In his reflection on today’s readings Fr. Karban says, “I believe that each human being has a vision of a new world, a world different from the one in which we’re actually living, a world free from the pain and frustrations we’re daily forced to endure. My mother and father, for instance, worked hard to make certain each of their five children would be able to take advantage of opportunities they themselves never had. Most parents dream of creating a different world for their children. It seems to be an essential trait of human nature.” (Celebration)
Jesus also has a vision for us. His vision involves love. “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Right before Jesus said this he had washed the disciples’ feet. That is the kind of love he is envisioning for us.
Fr. Karban comments, “Love in this context can only mean giving oneself for another. It has little to do with emotions of schmaltzy feelings. It’s a down-to-earth, everyday commitment to be of service to those around us, no matter our feelings or emotions.” That kind of love has the potential to wipe away tears, to free people from pain. That kind of love can be transforming.
Don’t forget the Healing Workshops being facilitated by Sr. Esther Fangman on April 29th and May 6th from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. here at Holy Spirit Church. Sr. Esther will help us address the conflicting emotions sparked by the sexual abuse crisis in our Church. National statistics show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18. Fear, guilt and shame keep many child victims silent; less than 1 in 10 will tell.
It is essential that we do a better job in protecting our children. The Diocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection (OCYP) is partnering with the parishes in Lee’s Summit to offer this workshop. The OCYP is doing a good job to help us respond in a better way. Sr. Esther is a wonderful presenter. I encourage you to come to the workshops.