The other day, while my eldest daughter was lying on the couch home sick, after three days she said to me, “Daddy, I hate being sick. I wish there was a magic pill that you could take and then no more sickness, everything better.” I said, “Yes, darling, I completely understand.”
Just like my daughter, so often we must encounter in our lives experiences that we are powerless to change. Perhaps we have a chronic illness that no matter what medicines we take, what therapies, nothing helps. Our perhaps there is a particular weakness in our character that we want to change, temptations that we try and try to resist, but to no avail. Or perhaps we are trying to make fundamental change for the good in the world, but find ourselves powerless to the system- that the world is fundamentally flawed. Powerlessness is essential to our humanity, a universal experience.
And yet, in our gospel today (Rev. 21), we see this mighty picture that a new heaven and a new earth will come, the old world will fall away. And in this new jerusalem, this new world, God will be and dwell in our midst and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. And there will be no more death, no more pain, no illness, no sorrow, no heavy burdens- for the old world will have passed away.
And this new world that is coming, it actually exists now, in our hearts. It lives in our hearts like a seed. And this seed is called hope, hope that healing will come, resurrection will come. That we feel hope means we are bearing the seed of the new world.
Dear friends, in this old world, it is rightful that we must experience powerlessness and the humility it brings; for we will always have to face in our lives things that we simply have to bear, that our will cannot change. And at the same time let us cherish the deep HOPE, hope that when the time is right, when the heart is ripe, the lord will wipe the pain away. Grace will happen.
Oh Christ, may your hope take root in our souls, for it is the seed of the new world in our hearts.