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The Pastor's Pen

May 15, 2022
The Path to Glory
Fr. Tom Wilson, Pastor
The Easter Season is a walk through the kept promises of Jesus. The joy of the resurrection and the promise of glory refocuses our earthly realities to heavenly ones. The trajectory we are on goes from resurrection…to a ministry of mercy…to the description of the path to Heavenly glory. Last week in Revelation, John described those in the white robes surrounding the throne of the Father in Heaven as those who had stood with Jesus, endured trials, and were now at their destination.
This week, the Book of Revelation tells us that John saw a “new heaven and a new earth” …and was told that all things were “made new.” New is attractive. We desire to be new and to have new. That new, of course, comes directly through Jesus Christ, who in the Gospel announces that His time to be glorified came only after being betrayed by Judas. Glory does not naturally seem to coincide with shedding blood and betrayal, but in the economy of salvation and Jesus’ sacrifice, they are absolutely intermingled. That truth is hard for a person of faith and absurd to those without. It can even be a source of rage and anger for those who see them as an anathema for their utopias. At best, the utopians do not want to endure trials. At worst, they want to impose them on others.
The details may change over time, but the general thrust of humanity’s reaction to God’s plan for salvation rarely changes in the aggregate. “Suffering is not fair.” “It should not happen.” “Life should not be so hard.” “If God is good and true, the world should act and behave the way I want it to.”
As any parent struggling to teach a child can see and say, life can be difficult and has its own set of evil stemming from the Evil One’s temptation, our pride, and the selfishness that pervades all of us. But in God’s plan for us, and the freedom He gives us, it does work out for our good and His glory through His mercy.
The transition of growing into that trust, I think, is a realization that we have contributed to the ugliness of the world that we occasionally despise. It is the stage of moral conversion that we mentioned at Easter. Because God is God and we believe in Him, we grow in our desire to change and be an instrument of healing for the woundedness and ugliness in the world. Our choices and our behaviors make a difference. It is not always everyone else’s fault.
Modern means of communication have spawned an excessively large and chattering class that has the time to percolate ideas and spread them swiftly and often, sometimes recklessly, through a high-tech version of finger-pointing that sees everyone else as the problem. In reality, instead of, or at least in addition to the intellectual analysis, they could, at least, accept their own place in the messiness of the world. That is called repentance and it leads to authentic conversion.
The converted heart, like Peter’s, sees its own role in the betrayal and ugliness that raises the ire of so many. With that ownership and honesty in our hearts, we begin the path to glory where all things will be new.