I love going to the movies. There is something great about being in a dark theatre, waiting for the curtain to open and the movie to ‘roll’ so that you can be transported into another world. One of the most memorable experiences of this is almost twenty years ago, during my first trip overseas. It was in Paris, and it was a freezing cold Christmas Day (even the fountains were all frozen mid-stream); after midnight Mass at the parish of Sainte-Trinité and then sharing in the orphans’ lunch a group of us headed to the movies to see the newly released Le Roi Lion. It was a beautiful old multi-tier theatre dating to the time of Napolean with elegant fittings and fairy-lights in the ceiling. As the lights dimmed, we were expecting the kind of pre-show mix of ads and previews, but here we were treated to a light, music and water-fountain extravaganza that set the scene for the transformation that continued when the curtains finally opened.
During this season of Easter, the second reading for the first 6 weeks is taken from the Book of Revelation, the final book in our scripture. It can be a very confusing and misunderstood book, and yet as the opening passage ‘reveals’, John the Divine is wanting to share this most extraordinary experience that he has had while in exile on the Island of Patmos. On the Lord’s day – perhaps immediately after celebrating Mass? – he is caught up in a vision that is often impressionistic and dream-like and at other times quite surrealist. But what John has received is not meant only for himself, which is why he prepares this letter written initially to the seven churches of modern western Turkey but meant for all Christians. He is a seer – one who has seen the inner reality of heaven, and like the great prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures, feels compelled to share his insights with the whole church.
Recorded at St Paul’s, 10am (9’30”)
Easter, Sunday 2C – Sunday of Divine Mercy