Yesterday the Church presented us with the hopeful gospel of the Prodigal Son. It was a message that we all needed to hear to encourage us to ask forgiveness for our sins. Today the prophet Isaiah moves our thoughts to the final triumph of good over evil. God is creating a new heavens and new earth. The past is wiped away. No more war! No more violence and abuse of the weak and lowly. No more injustice and trampling of human rights. Rather rejoicing and happiness fill our hearts. The Church (Jerusalem) will be a joy and God will delight in his people. There will be no cries of pain or weeping heard in the land. Our human bodies will be transformed and no longer be subject to sickness and the ravages of old age. We will live at peace in our homes and enjoy the fruits of our vineyards.
Yes, here in the midst of Lent as I pray, fast, and give alms I am very aware of my humanness and how far I must still journey to become the faithful disciple who follows Jesus. The promise of what God want to do for us is beyond human expectations. Like the royal official in the gospel let us believe that Jesus invites us to transformation and new life.
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.