|St. Luke's youth connecting with creation.|
When Jesus opens their minds, he changes the way they think altogether. So then Jesus tells his disciples to go and proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins. And that word "repentance" literally it means a turning of the mind. We think of repentance like "I'm sorry, God." It's something much deeper and more profound. It's about a revolutionary changing of the mind. Not just, "Well, I changed my mind," not just, "I shifted my position or my opinion on such-and-such issue or concern," but a true transformation in the way we think. So when the risen Christ invites his followers to repent of sin, he's not just inviting them to say I'm sorry to God, he's inviting them into a whole new way of thinking about sin. No longer must we make our daily, weekly, yearly confession in order to be reconciled to God, to bring about peace between us and God. Through the risen Christ, that has already happened. We have been reconciled to God. Our sins have been wiped away and forgiven. Any confession we make after Easter is not to bring about reconciliation, but to remind us of the reconciliation and the peace that already has been made for us...
...But going back to Earth Day, going back to how we are stuck in our ecological messes that we've made, I think part of our being stuck is that we're waiting for an opening of the mind. We keep trying to change our thoughts without changing our thinking. We keep coming up with lots of ideas and thoughts about how to do things better. We can change from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents, we can go from internal combustion engines to electric cars, we can go from coal energy to solar energy and we can take our own bags to the grocery store and those are all great things to do and we need to do them, but those are just the thoughts. When our way of thinking is changed, when are minds are opened, then we will begin to see that interconnected web of relationships, those voices speaking to one another across the eons, from the smallest particles to the greatest galaxies, from the tiniest microbes to our bodies. Changing of the mind, seeing the relationships of all creatures, that we are not in conflict with one another, we are actually in harmony with one another, but our minds are closed to see how those relationships work.
So on this Earth Day, in this season of Easter, we pray for an Easter mind, an open mind, a mind changed through the risen Christ.