Maybe you are like me: you like to read news and opinion items online.
Also, I confess that I spend more time
surfing for such things than I really need to.
The result – for me, and maybe for you –
is that sometimes we get too caught up in negativity and worry.
There’s a lot of negativity out there right now, don’t you think?
Folks who are unhappy with political trends,
disillusioned with sports teams and the entertainment media,
and disappointed in how some of our bishops handle things.
These concerns are real: I’m not dismissing them.
However: there’s a need for perspective.
The author C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Great Divorce,
in which he imagines taking a trip from hell to heaven.
When he’s in hell, it seems like a vast city, miles and miles.
When he and others ride a bus up and out,
that vast city turns out to be a tiny little speck and shadow of dirt,
compared to the blinding brilliance of heaven.
You’ll see the same thing in the Bible:
Humans build this great big tower in the city of Babel,
they are so impressed!
When God hears of it, he has to stoop WAY down to take a look!
In the Book of Revelation, there’s all this furious activity on earth,
people who are trying to overthrow God’s reign,
but in heaven, everything is calm and peaceful;
and when the final conflict comes, it’s over IMMEDIATELY.
By the way, how many times have you ever seen a TV show or movie,
or read a book that is all about the End of the World,
and it’s told in the most lurid, frightening way?
People don’t read the Bible closely enough.
From a purely human point of view, it is a big deal;
But from Heaven’s point of view?
All this storm and excitement is next to nothing, over and done,
and then real life, the the life Jesus came to give, begins.
We’ve just been through the Easter season, last week Pentecost,
and today we focus on the Holy Trinity.
That’s a big subject, but I think there’s a way we can keep this simple.
God stooped down from heaven, becoming one of us –
coming down into our lives, to bring us into the life of God.
One of the best expressions of this is so simple and routine, we miss it:
and that is when you and I make the Sign of the Cross.
We begin Mass with it and we end with it.
You do it with holy water when you enter and leave.
Notice what we do: we say,
“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
as we mark ourselves with the Cross.
Here’s what that means:
Jesus came to bring you and me into the life of the Trinity;
The Cross is what puts us there; being baptized puts us there.
When you and I follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior,
then we are “surrounded,” as it were, with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
How amazing is it that God made it the Cross that puts us there?
The Cross was an act of unspeakable cruelty and ugliness and injustice.
So we look around and we see things that are wrong –
and that’s real, you’re not mistaken! – then, remember, that’s the Cross.
God not only sees it, he put himself right there! On the Cross.
And that ugliness not only doesn’t defeat what is good and beautiful,
in a way that never stops leaving us breathless,
that ugliness becomes the heart and center
of the greatest goodness and beauty of all.
Keep perspective: all the controversies and causes for sadness
are not bigger than the good world our good God has given us.
Look at these silly cicadas who pop out every 17 years.
They’re a nuisance, but they’re harmless and kind of fun.
If you’re a dog, a cat or a bird,
it’s All-You-Can-Eat Thanksgiving Dinner!
And, it’ll all be behind us soon enough.
The really amazing thing is,
those cicadas been doing this for 50 million years.
Every time they emerge, we humans are worked up about something;
but no matter what, they keep coming back.
The world keeps going on despite all our drama.
In God’s time and way – not ours – it will all turn to heaven.
One day we will wake up in that Divine Life, that Trinity Life.
Hell is that little speck of a place that won’t accept that happiness.