BORN ANEW TO A LIVING HOPE
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the exiles of the Diaspora… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet 1: 1, 3-7)
I find myself in a different kind of “diaspora” today, living far away from the country of my birth. And yet St. Peter’s consoling message to the “diaspora” (dispersion) of his day rings so true and relevant today, as we make our cross-carrying journey in a globalized economy, often far away from our hometowns. Our circumstances are somewhat different, but the light-filled message of the cross remains the same: While we “may have to suffer various trials,” we are “guarded,” – not through escaping them or blocking them out, but by walking through them in faith, with and in our crucified and resurrected Lord.
Today, when many of us celebrate the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, let me embrace this great fact of my baptism, of which St. Peter reminds me today: I have been “born anew to a living hope,” liberated from my old ways of going around in circles, - the ways of death which never have anything new to offer. So today let me get “busy being born,” if I may shock you by quoting my beloved Bob Dylan, because “he not busy being born is busy dying.”