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24th April 2016 5th Sunday of Easter C

posted 23 Apr 2016, 13:20 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle

H.B. &.Hw.


"In (Christ) a new age has dawned,

the long reign of sin is ended,

a broken world has been renewed,

and man is once again made whole.


The joy of the resurrection renews the whole world,"


Is this our experience? It is if we have faith. If we look at

our experience in the way that John sees it. And John sees

a new heaven and a new earth freed from the influence of

the beast. We notice the absence of the sea in John's

vision, the symbol of evil, as this was the home of the

dragon and the beast, symbolic language for the devil,

Satan and his delegates. Furthermore, in John's vision the

relationship of God and the new Jerusalem is articulated in

the language of marriage: humankind is beautiful as a bride

dressed for her husband, the Lord.


Do we share John's vision? Is this our view of humankind?

It is the expectation and fulfilment of our faith from time

immemorial: "they shall be his people and he will be their

God". This is final. The world of the past has gone, no

more tears, death or mourning. The world is made anew.

This is the Lord's will. And the Lord opens this vision of

faith to all without exception.


So in the light of all this apocalyptic revelation, how do we

read our times? In the same way that Jesus reads them.

These times are times for the glory of God to shine forth in

Christ's and our own obedience unto death. These are the

times in which the Father takes Jesus and ourselves into

glory. All this is underpinned by words of consolation and

direction: a new commandment to love one another as

Jesus loves. The standard is Christ high and it is what

identifies the true disciple of Jesus.


So Jesus preaches a new world and a new world order. So

for example, why would anyone try to get rich? it doesn't

make sense once we know the real. Jesus does not buy into

any of the values of our present day culture that keeps

people apart. Jesus goes for the real, "new heaven and new

earth, the Kingdom experience." "It is the experience of

the absolute that all religion is about."


"So, we need to be open to something more than cerebral,

rational knowing. We need to move toward a more

spacious, contemplative knowing. We need to move

beyond the dualistic seesaw mind to a mind beyond quick

judgements, beyond the self and its own self-interest,

beyond win/lose and either/or world views. This is actually‑

conversion in its most basic sense, but it is also the way to

enormous wisdom and the vision of God. Only the whole

self is ever ready for the Whole God."

(After Paul Gadi, Scripture in Church, No. 158)

 (Richard Rohr, 'Radical Grace' Day 381)