Benedictine University and MySpiritualAdvisor.com’s Mark Kurowski reflects on being Dr. Who’s “tardis”. What does this TV show have to do with the Peace that Jesus leaves us? Listen to this podcast of his reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter to find out. Please read John 13:31-35. For Text, “Read More” below. #GreatCatholicPreaching #Catholic #BenU1887 #GreatPreaching #John14 #DrWho #TARDIS #ChristFarewellAddress #Sermons #Homilies
For Benedictine University and MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 5/5/2013 The 6th Sunday of Easter.
Please pause this audio and read John 14;23-29.
What do Dr. Who’s tardis, a time machine and an eternal portal have to do with the peace of Christ? I will touch on that in a minute or two.
First, I was searching for an example for this reflection on the passage from Saint John’s Gospel to discuss what Jesus means by “peace,” a lot of things happened this week and none of them necessarily were good. In fact, two items that I had been working on that seem so simple and easy to do were way laid by the bureaucracy of any institution. In my mind, they should have taken five minutes, in the institution’s mind, waiting since October is still at lightning fast speed.
Then, someone missed an appointment for which I had moved things around on my calendar. Then, I got a call from school and there was a mess in one of the lives of one of my children that I was being expected to clean up and I was an hour and a half by car away from the whole affair. In days gone by, I would have become very angry and maybe even gotten mad. In the midst of it all, I just started laughing.
I recalled that today’s message was one about peace. Where do you find peace when nothing goes your way? Where do you find peace when everything you have worked for, longed for, desired, falls apart at the seams? What happens when it seems that everyone is tugging at you and pulling at you?
For us who know the Lord, who hear his voice and remain in him, the answer is within. I am not talking about any Norman Vincent Peale, D. James Kennedy, Robert Schuler, Joel Osteen, “you have the power within.” I am talking about the neglected gift of the Holy Spirit given to us at our baptism and in Confirmation. I am talking about that deposit within us that is just waiting for us to respond by retreating within to rest in the spot where the Holy Spirit was placed within us at our baptism.
There is a spot within us, we usually say, “within our hearts,” where there is a spot of peace in the whirl whind we call life. We get to that spot of peace within by prayer. Prayer, in this instance is a pause in the day where we are reminded that this reality in which we live is not the true and ultimate reality. The foolishness presented to us by the fool who stands before us is not the reality to which I must assent.
The passage from Revelation 21, which shows us the restored creation after Jesus comes again, gives us a glimpse of what heaven is like. This glimpse of heaven is key to the peace we find within. The very popular TV show Dr. Who has a time machine called a “tardis” which takes him here and there and everywhere throughout time and space. It is a time machine that is more than a time machine. It is has some knowledge of the place to where it goes and defies the imagination on getting the Dr. to wherever he needs to be taken to solve whatever problem that needs to be solved.
Jesus tells us in John 14:23 that whoever loves him will receive a room within them that is given by the Father in heaven. In John 14:2, Jesus tells us that in his Father’s house there are many rooms and one of them is for us. John’s Gospel has a habit of being very sacramental: what we experience here has a grace-filled correlation in heaven. We receive that grace through the connection between the two.
The room within us is connected to the room in heaven, which is shown to us in Revelation 21. The room within is our tardis. When the world around us takes us places that we do not want to go or cannot bear to stand, we can enter into the peaceful spot within us and be taken to the room in heaven where there is peace.
For myself, I pause, take a deep breath and feel myself breathing in the Holy Spirit and I find peace in a spot within. For Blessed John Paul II, he would stop, close his eyes and you could see him pray his way to the peaceful spot within. We get there by praying in that peaceful spot when there are not troubles and then go there in our hearts and minds when the troubles come. The peace which baptism gives us by the power of the Holy Spirit is a time portal into heaven.
When I think of the peace that Jesus leaves us, the peace that Jesus gives us, I think it cannot be like the world gives. The peace we are given does not have to react to crazy people, who seem to be all around us. The peace left to us by Jesus and given to us by Jesus is not like the world of unreasonable and illogical conclusions that forget the goal of our entire enterprise: to love one another. The peace Jesus left to us and Jesus gives to us absorbs what the world has to give and transforms it as we are transformed into people who live in the world but are not from it. We have our own tardis to heaven whenever we want.
The problem is that we don’t take advantage of it. We often ask God, “Where are you?” Or we think, “When will you be near, Lord?” We lift up our hands or shake our fists when the real place to seek the Lord, for those of us who are baptized, is within.
The hymn says it best,
Deep within I will plant my law,
Not on stone, but in your heart.
The passage from Jeremiah 31
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel…I will put my law within them and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And the passage from the prophet Ezekiel,
I will sprinkle clean water upon you,…and a new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you…”
When we come to think of it, we really don’t need a tardis, do we? We have baptism, we have God and we have heaven within.
So, I invite you to stop what you are doing now. Stop responding to the crazy people. Stop thinking about the illogical things that happen. Stop thinking about your children and their problems. Stop thinking about whatever it is that causes you to be troubled, timid with fear, filled with frustration and anxiety and go to that room. Let me begin for you, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Amen? Amen.
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