Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Book of Revelation and Me!

           When I was a child my cousin Margie Ray had a record player at my grandmother’s house that she let me play when I was visiting over weekends. She had several 78 RPMs – not a big collection by today’s standards, but I loved each of them and played them over and over when I was in the living room by myself. The chorus to one song was “ [I’ll] ride a milk white horse, diamond hood, hitched to the rock where Moses stood, look so fine and feel so good when I put on my long white robe.” My second source for picturing the scene laid out in Revelation was a Spiritual I learned while singing in the Baker-Hunt Children’s Chorus, “I Got Shoes” in which all of us choristers sang with gusto, “ [I’m] gonna walk all over God’s Heaven”.
         As these memories are stirred today because of the current daily Mass readings, the feelings of anticipation of glory and fulfillment well up in me as they did when I was a children caught up in the music. I loved the scene laid out in Revelation. Surely there were and are parts of the document that I don‘t “get”. But what I do get is glorious: Everyone, beyond counting, will be there singing and rejoicing without distinctions of race, tongue, tribe, nationality, etc. We will all be dressed for the celebration with robes, shoes and everything we need- signs of freedom and belonging. All will be light and all evil will be overcome.
        Revelation has always been Resistance Literature. In the first century it bolstered the early Church to stand against the pressures of their local societies. In our country it is likely that the songs I referenced above gave enslaved people expression for the hope they had for this life and the hereafter.         My association with Spanish speakers has also brought me into contact with the lively cancion, “Jerusalen que bonita eres”,  which describes walking on streets of gold and a sea of crystal while singing Alleluia. Yes, in spite of the evil that seems to prevail at this time, God will bring us through this. Heaven will be wonderful and all those wearing the white robes of fidelity will be praising God.
        Reflecting on these pre-Advent readings set before us the goal. Now we are called to discern how we will strive to kindle the embers of that vision by joining with our sisters and brothers around the world and across all class distinctions to pray and act to promote freedom, peace and justice as a way of glorifying God. 

            Sr. Dorothy Schuette, OSB  

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sister thank you for sharing precious memories -- I think once again how important it is to have a warm foundation in faith when we are young, with a fund of happy memories, it will be such a source of strength throughout our lives. God bless OSB Merry Christmas soon.