*Alternate* First Reading: Richard Rohr Meditation

From a meditation by Richard Rohr

This past year has been an apocalyptic time, though not necessarily in the way we might think, but “A Time of Unveiling.” For many of us, the word “apocalypse” conjures thoughts of the rapture, fear, a vengeful God, and violent and exclusive religion.

While we primarily use the word “apocalypse” to mean to destroy or threaten, in its original context, apocalypse simply meant to reveal something new. The key is that in order to reveal something new, we have to get the old out of the way.

Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that. We cannot hold onto the old all the while declaring that we want something new. The old will defy the new; the old will deny the new; the old will decry the new. There is only one way to bring in the new. We must make room for it.

As the Buddhist Heart Sutra says it, “Gone, gone, utterly gone, all has passed over to the other side.” It makes room for the reconstruction of a new vision of peace and justice, which is the job of the prophets. Yes, prophets do plenty of deconstruction too, but it is always to make room inside the mind and soul for vision, expansion, hope, and a future inhabited by God and not by fear.

The words of Richard Rohr