Revelation 20:1-4, 11-21:2
Yesterday we celebrated in song and prayer and gave thanks for all the many blessings we enjoy because of God’s bountiful love for us. The Book of Revelation also gives us something to rejoice about in showing us beautiful picture of the new Jerusalem:
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
And the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
Coming down out of heaven from God,
Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Rev. 21:2
I am reminded of the happiness shared by friends recently as they celebrated a wedding on Saturday and welcomed a new baby on Sunday. A new daughter-in-law and a first grandchild all in one weekend. Wow! I am thinking the joy we all felt for them is only a small part of the joy we will experience in the new Jerusalem. In our humanness it’s almost more than we can fathom.
The psalm response, ‘Here God lives among his people." Rev. 21:3b gives us reason to feel blessed and at the same time poses a challenge. As God’s faithful people, as people who look forward to the beauty and blessings that await us in the ‘new Jerusalem’, we are called to see the face of God in all of humanity. Pretty tough stuff for us proud, independent, somewhat spoiled human beings! We are pretty good at ‘talking the talk’ but it gets more difficult when we are faced with ‘walking the walk’!
We are going to be judged according to our deeds. We know this, don’t we? The problem is ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ are two different paths. If we are ever going to see and enjoy the new Jerusalem we have to be people who put our faith into action! Let us choose to look for God among all people and in all things. A wise spiritual director told me once, ‘I don’t only look to see God in the good things, but in the not so good as well"!
We are a blessed people no doubt about it. May we take time to reflect on all the goodness around us and make time in the new year upon us to share the good we have with those less fortunate.
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.