Sunday, May 19
I think the second reading from the book of Revelation for today’s liturgy on this 5th Sunday of the Easter season has become one of my favorite pieces of scripture. The Apostle John sees something new, hopeful, and filled with God’s blessing. It’s more than just a vision of some place beyond our reach (the new Heaven and the new Jerusalem), but it suggests that God’s dwelling is among us now and with the power of the Resurrection we can turn old ways into new ways; we can turn evil to good; darkness to light; despair to hope. The possibilities are endless when we surrender ourselves over the voice of God who says: see I make all things new!
In reading some of his great wisdom I was reminded the other day of a touching story Fr. Greg Boyle told about one of the former gang members he has the privilege of working with out in Los Angeles. I believe he may have told this story when he was here at Old St. Pat’s several years ago. He recalled the time when Mrs. Laura Bush, then the First Lady, invited Fr. Boyle to bring some of his friends from Homeboy/Homegirl Industries to the White House to receive a special recognition for their work in helping gang members transition to a more hopeful way of life. In preparation for the trip to Washington DC, Boyle recalled how he had to bring three of the homies to a clothing store in order to get them fitted for new suits, which they had never owned before. Greg indicated that like many of his former gang members, the three young men he invited to be a part of the trip to the White House were “colorful characters” whose past history in gang life was anything but simple. In his telling of the story when they were at the clothing store, Greg shared that one of the former gang members (whose name I cannot recall), after he put on the suit and the tailor had made the necessary adjustments, just stood there and looked at himself in the mirror. The homie smiled and just kept admiring himself in the full length mirror as he stared at the new look of himself. Greg Boyle just beautifully mused on how this young man saw someone he had never met before. Beyond the scars, the tattoo’s, the piercings, and the rough past of gang life, Homie saw someone new.
“Behold, I make all things new!”….”there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” I pray that this Easter festival will help us all to see ourselves in new and hopeful ways. Let the power of the Risen One make us new and keep transforming us into people God wants us to be.
I hope you will mark your calendars and set your televisions to this Thursday, May 23 at 9:00 pm for the airing of Leaps of Faiths, an exciting one hour documentary about the beautiful gift of the Family School here at Old St. Pat’s. Created and produced by our own David Kovacs and Steve Ordower, Leaps of Faith tells the story of the journey so many of our families have taken as they have tried to honor and celebrate their blended Jewish and Catholic faith traditions. You will see and hear from many of us here at Old St. Pat’s! My heartiest thanks and congratulations to David and Steve and all those involved in the Family School for this very special presentation.
Have a great week!
Father Thomas J. Hurley
*I am in Omaha this weekend for my niece’s graduation from Creighton University! Go BlueJays! I am hoping to be back for the 5:00 p.m. mass to hear Jordan Neeck OPraem as he offers his last homily as deacon before his ordination to the priesthood on June 8! He’s been a great gift to us!