“Staying in the Water: It’s Always About the Journey”

 

God proclaims at the end of our Second Reading from the Book of Revelations, “Behold, I make all things new.” That is a good thing to remember on this Fifth Sunday of Easter, and as we honor a life of service in our priests. In the opening verse of this reading from Holy Scripture, John also says, “I…saw a new heaven and a new earth.” The Easter season reveals this newness to us, and we must always keep it in mind.

The Greek word used for what is translated as “new” is kaine.  As is normally the case, that particular Greek word has multiple meanings, one of which is “fresh.” We are not speaking of a heaven and earth, which did not exist before, but of a heaven and earth that are fresh in their newness!

This is not just a “new” perspective, then, but a better one. If we strive to live out our lives as disciples of Christ, if we make a complete effort to be God’s disciples, we inherit this new heaven. In it, as also indicated in our Second Reading, God expresses His desire to be in close fellowship with us, and we in turn must desire to be God’s people. Being a disciple should be the whole purpose of our lives. That is not easily achieved, nor is it without obstacles and hurdles for us, but it is what our purpose should be.

This past Monday evening, around 9:30pm, I had just gotten back from our fundraiser at the Fireside Bar & Grille and found a homeless man sleeping next to our bronze Jesus statue located on the front steps to our parish. I asked him if he was ok and he jumped up and said “I’ll leave I’m sorry”! I said ‘no, don’t I just wanted to make sure you’re ok’ – (Truth be told, I actually was making sure that he was alive, as first all I saw was two feet sticking out!) he was apparently walking to Lansdale and was tired so he pulled our new door mat over and used his jacket as a pillow. We talked for a bit before I turned in and I learned his name was Steve. I handed him a $20 bill before beginning my shirt walk home, but he almost wouldn’t take it until I told him I’m stubborn and wouldn’t let him sleep on my parish steps if he didn’t take the offering. I said, “We are in this journey together, Steve.’ It is not pity, it is sharing.” 

‘Staying the in water’, is one of my favorite phrases. It means that the journey is not always easy; it isn’t meant to be, but to those who stay in the water and remain faithful, change comes, growth comes, joy comes, God comes. God often comes in such small and imperceptible ways, whatever you do today don’t miss Him, or your chance to make someone’s life a little better, or to help make all things new  by your own life of service!
 
Thank you, to Father Joseph, and all my fellow priests and religious, for staying in the water even when the journey gets hard; and thank you, Steve, for visiting and for reminding me why I remain a priest.