Readings for Monday March 15, 2010
First Reading: Isaiah 65:17-21
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 30
Gospel: John 4:43-54
Thus says the LORD: Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create; For I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight; I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people. No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying; No longer shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime; He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years, and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed. They shall live in the houses they build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant. (Is 65:17-21)
Do you remember as a kid when your mother would make a cake, brownies, or cookies and getting to lick the mixer beater? This was certainly my favorite part of baking ... to be honest with you it still is! Why is it that people of all ages like to get the beater and sample something that is not even complete? Well, one reason of course is because it is good, the other reason I think is because if we enjoy the beater, then we get a little taste of what is about to come. Getting a little sample of something good that is coming is always a fun and sometimes powerful thing. Think about it, if you get a little sample of cake batter, and begin thinking that you can't wait to taste the final product, are you going to go ahead and eat a bunch of other things that might spoil your appetite, or are you are much more likely to be focused on the cake? When we get just a small taste of something good, knowing that something even better is coming, that can be a powerful motivator.
After reading today's reading from Isaiah, I realized how beautiful what the prophet Isaiah was describing. He was describing a place with no more pain and suffering, a place where there is only happiness and rejoicing all the time. This place obviously was heaven, and when it is all said and done, those who are found worthy will be in heaven, a place with no sadness, but only being wrapped up in the love of God for eternity. As I read this, I realized how wonderful this all sounded to me, and then I realized that if heaven is a place where there is no more pain, suffering, or anything bad; then there is a way that we can each get a taste of heaven while here on earth. So many times in this life we experience pain and suffering, and there are times where we are meant to go through that, but there are also times when we hold on to negative emotions and vices; and it is only by letting these things go and giving in to love, that we can begin to get a taste of what heaven will be like. I know that there are many times in my life that I regret giving in to things like bitterness, anger, frustration, annoyance, envy, etc; but I have never once regretted giving in to love.
I believe that in heaven we will always be rejoicing in the Lord, basking in His love and glory forever and ever. The way we can get a taste of what heaven will be like is by letting go of the negative emotions that tie us to this world and by giving in to love.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, you are our God and we are your people, help us to love you and serve you while holding nothing back. Lord, thank you for your great love and mercy, help us to let your light shine through us and that we might go out courageously spreading the good news throughout the earth. We pray for all those in need of conversion, and we ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.