Eleven years ago I dreamed about “A New Humanity for a New Millennium.”
And I wrote some really positive stuff about us humans, knowing full well we really didn’t warrant it.
Can we dust those thoughts of eleven years later on the threshold of the second decade of the third millennium and give them a second thought, a second shot . . . ?
. . . . Even though we have failed to live up to the potential of the human family, we nevertheless are called to a deeper faith and hope. The work of Jesus is hardly begun. The task of building a new humanity, partially begun in the first and second millennia, remains the agenda for the third.
As we reach beyond our self-imposed limits of sight, we can look beyond ~ look to the horizon ~ look where we’re headed.
Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin envisioned humanity as evolving toward the “Omega Point,” a point of union of all of creation drawing together in Christ. The Omega Point, Teilhard observes, is the endpoint of the historical process.
Perhaps we can see glimpses of this wonderful and exciting world view in the theology of St. Paul:
“There is no Jew or Greek . . . Christ is everything in all of you” (Col. 3:10).
“Let us profess the truth in love and grow toward the full maturity of Christ the head. Through him the whole body [the world?] grows and with the proper functioning of the members joined firmly together by each supporting ligament, builds itself up in love” (Eph. 4:16)
Thus, we are part of something larger than ourselves. With each generation, we ARE growing closer to the goal of all humanity ~ complete and utter union with Christ ~ even though we don’t perceive it!
We can look upon this process with hope that, despite our failures in love, humanity will one day grow into loving relationship with all there is.
Can you feel it? Can you peer down into the future of humanity and see that we are growing in our ability to love? Or can we only manage to be cynical about all of the devastation that so many humans now create for one another and our planet?
If there is one thing that we can learn at the threshold of the Third Millennium, [or now as we begin its second decade] it is that we live in the present moment, yet we are connected with a past with all of its achievement and failure, and with connected with a future with all of its hope and uncertainty.
The focus of renewing humanity has got to be with renewing ourselves ~ each and every one ~ of having faith in our own growth and hope in our own future. Of realizing that we can be transformed again and again into a new person by receiving the grace of transformation that the incarnate and risen Christ extends to us.
Where are we, this New Year’s Day 2011, Lord?
Are we better off or worse off than we were last year?
And what will 2011 bring to us?
Are we prepared for whatever it will bring?
Do we realize that . . . . “You never know . . . what the next minute will bring?
Give us hope, Lord, this New Year’s Day.
A realistic hope that we might be a little kinder with one another,
a little less self-centered,
a little more willing to go the extra mile for someone, even ~ or especially ~ a stranger.
Give us the strength to be ready for whatever may come . .
~ If the economy would get worse;
~ if we lose our job;
~ if any of the dreadful possibilities I pray might not happen that would send our country into dire crisis or possible decline;
~ if we meet the girl of our dreams.
Give us the grace to be truly thankful ~ truly repentant ~ truly humble this New Year’s morning.
This is my prayer, Lord, for me, for my friends, for our country, for our world.
This morning may we pray as St. Francis taught us . . .
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen!
May it be so! may it be so for each of us and our country and the whole world!