The New Jerusalem…by Jason Roebuck

Standard

Of course, I mean no disrespect to GK Chesterton‘s work entitled “The New Jerusalem” by giving that title to my post today.  I know that his book deals with a time in history when the Jewish people had not yet been given a state to call home in Israel, but I think the title fits, if you read further into my reflection on today’s Mass readings.  Of course, it could help if you read Today’s readings, as well as the Office of Readings that I prayed before beginning this reflection.

Gift:  Wisdom– With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

Reading:  

For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,

for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep still,

Until her vindication shines forth like the dawn

and her salvation like a burning torch.a

Nations shall behold your vindication,

and all kings your glory;

You shall be called by a new name

bestowed by the mouth of the LORD.  (Isaiah 62:1-2)

Observation:  I was reminded by my ten-year old son last night as I finished up with faith formation classes with the Hispanic community at our parish and he was heading out of the 5 o’clock Mass, that this first reading can be a powerful reminder of our calling as Christians.  He had committed to memory that first verse and repeated it back to me.  As I read it again this morning, along with the second verse and the rest of the readings, I realized that the prophet was talking about us too.  It is not just the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, but the rebuilding of our souls through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Especially for me, having allowed myself to be held in the Babylonian captivity of

English: Roebuck Surgery, Roebuck House, Roebu...

English: Roebuck Surgery, Roebuck House, Roebuck St (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

this world, before waking up to the original call that God laid on my heart.

Personification:  Joy.  If I am going to be able to display the fruit of joy, I must remember that God has called me to be a new creation.  I don’t know about the part about being called by another name, because I believe I would have to become a member of a religious community to do that, but maybe there is something to that.

Prayer:  Lord, help me remember to display the fruit of joy in my life today and thank you for all you do to keep me faithful to your word.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.  Amen!

Is John saying we have to put the genie back in the bottle?

Standard
Lamb

Lamb (Photo credit: GrahamPics1)

Gift: Wisdom– With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

Reading:  These are they who were not defiled with women; they are virgins* and these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been ransomed as the firstfruits of the human race for God and the Lamb.  (Revelations 14:4)

Observation:  It is not only the fact that we are told that the use of virgins is metaphorical, but also the use of symbolic numerology that tells us that those that are called are not going to just be virgins and number a great many more than 144,000.  It is also common sense that tells us that God is calling all of us to be with him in heaven and the New Jerusalem.  However, we must take these admonitions seriously.  Are we complicit in allowing people to think that regardless of what sins we take an active role in, we can be accepted in as God’s chosen ones?  Do we help people realize that by a sincere confession and contrition for past sinfulness, we can be healed and then counted among the elect.  It is not for any other reason except the grace of God that saves us, and hopefully we can comply with this grace by converting our lives to conform to His will and not the world.

Personification:  Joy.   I love to focus on displaying the fruit of joy, because I believe this fruit most exemplifies what God is calling me to, not what I am most often displaying internally but I try to display it externally.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to experience joy in my heart as I try to display it to others today.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…Amen!