In the second reading this Sunday (from the Apocalypse) we hear God’s promise that he will make his home among us and wipe away the tears from every eye. Mother Teresa, St Teresa of Calcutta, worked with the poorest of the poor in far from luxurious surroundings. She showed the “love in action” which indicates the presence of Jesus – making his home in Calcutta with the destitute, St Theresa, her sisters and helpers. This is Jesus making his home among us – not necessarily in ease and comfort but in a place of love.
In the face of pain and evil we must understand that it is central to our living, loving Christian lives that we keep this example before us as both model and encouragement. Authentic Christian vision is not an optimistic fantasy or dream; it is a token of what is really happening. We know that the world is far from being a holy city or a New Jerusalem. The war in Ukraine and civil war in Yemen are but two terrible instances of effect of the desire for power and control at any price. Yet reaching out to the destitute is an instance of the fulfillment of the vision in the Book of the Apocalypse. It is a resistance to evil and a sign that good is stronger than evil.
We enter the heavenly city through our desire for God, reception of the sacraments and works of charity. We cannot stand back scetpically from this vision but, rather, enter into it by reaching to God and our fellow human beings today. If, sometimes, we feel tired or discouraged we must turn to God and throw our tiredness and discouragement at his feet. He will raise us up to carry on. We then realize that by this means, with our effort and cooperation, he is helping us to inhabit the heavenly city now so that our good works do not perish but stand for ever.
There will be tears still in this life but we can allow Jesus to wipe them away. Living and trusting like this is a sign that indeed all things have been made new.
Yours in Christ,