As I began to read the first reading from the Office of Readings this morning, I was trying to discern the identity of the place that was being revealed to John by one of the seven angels who were holding the seven bowls. I realize now that the seven angels holding the seven bowls is symbolic for the whole world, and that is why I feel like I see myself as the great harlot. Truth is, as much as I try to shelter myself from the big bad world, I still live in it. Until the end comes, I will live in it. By the grace of God, I will be protected from evil. However, I am still here and for the times that I comply with the things proposed by this world as good, chasing after money, sex or power, I am the great harlot. The prayer that I sometimes see as so simple, it is almost too easy to pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”, is also the prayer that reminds me throughout my day that the mercy of God is what saves me. It is not any good thing that I may do, because it will usually lead me back to money, sex or power, if I am relying on my strength, but it is the grace of God that saves me.
Now, I am sure there are plenty of scholars that could give you a better understanding of the second part of the first reading of today’s Office of Readings, but it is in reading the second reading from a letter to the Corinthians by Saint Clement, that we see that it is only through subordinating our will to that of the will of the Father, and by coming together with all the members of the body of Christ we will realize the last goal of victory over sin and death in our life and our world. To me, it is this fact that gives me hope to join with other people of faith, and at times people of no faith, to bring all people to a greater understanding of God’s hope of salvation for everyone. Now, I may not be experiencing the fruit of following God’s will at this present moment, but by staying connected to other people who are on the same mission of bringing the Good News to the world, I can see their consolation, even in my times of desolation.
I pray that more people today will follow Jesus, because of the truth that he has revealed through me and the conversations that I have with other people today, and by simply follow in His way…Amen!