There is a video, a father reading a book to his child. The child begs for the story about the coronavirus; the father reads “The Great Realization”, a poetic tale of the pre and post pandemic worlds. It captures the hope that the suffering of all these months will yield to a world where values are more clear, actions and choices more deliberate, and delusions of wealth and grandeur no longer intrigue an unwitting populace. And now, rolling into the third month of social distancing and gliding towards summer, reality remains raw and unexpected. Perhaps the secret is in how we perceive it all, what we believe it to be, and what we dare to name as hopes.
Right now, we occupy that transitional space between the pre and post pandemic worlds. We are at that place where deep thinking and conscious choice come into play, but only if we allow it. Amazingly, this week’s Gospel speaks of the wealth of change that choice can bring. John Chapter 14: 1-14 is alternately clear (“I am the way, the truth, and the life”), and mysterious (“I am in the father and the faher is in me”). But the essential question is most evident: to believe or not to believe. Jesus unveils the evidence, but he leaves the choice squarely in the hands of his audience. Today, he speaks to the world in a time of panic and crisis, crumbling economies and failing systems. But it is also a world of tender re-evaluation, of shared purpose and compliance, of new intiatives and beginnings. Therein lies the divine spark, the interfacing of human and divine and the trust that there is something here worth visiting, exploring and investigating. Jesus asks the same in the Gospel. He is opening the door to the skeptical, creating different, personalized options for his audience, giving opportunities to see what is with greater depth and understanding. In fact, He is suggesting that what we believe IS may have greater depth and breadth than we suspect. His words, he says, are the Father’s; seeing Him is seeing the Father. Then he raises that question: How can looking not be really seeing? Seeing not being understanding?
All of which brings us back to this moment in time: tentative reopenings, frightening models, divergence in reports, discord among us. Uncertainties. At the same time, an invitation to go forward, to see things differently. Today, the Gospel meets us in this moment, and Jesus invites us to open eyes and ears and hearts to what is really happening here, to shape a greater good, a convergence of the divine and the human, a new beginning rooted in reality. It is a chance to begin again with the knoweldge of what was resting against the knowledge of what can be.
To believe. To begin. To find the way, the truth and the life. To be part of the Great Realization.