The following reflection is by Tom Cahill
Avatar is a visually stunning film. In 3-D the incredibly colourful and fantastic planet Pandora, where the story is fancifully set, totally captivates the imagination and sweeps one away on the light fantastic. Facing drab grey cement and noisy swarming traffic on leaving the cinema was also ‘stunning’ – but as in stunned or dazed. The town where the cinema was set – also in 3-D – was anything but captivating by comparison. Indeed such comparison according to one newspaper report caused some people who had seen the film to experience bouts of depression afterwards. The comedown that real life is was just too much for them. That report prodded me to see the film for myself. I’m glad I did. It reminded me never to underestimate the power of beauty to touch the human spirit, and to open up the human heart to the spiritual around, within and beyond us.
So let’s open ourselves to the spiritual and mind-travel to that location of beauty in today’s Second Reading (Apoc 21:1-5): the new heaven and the new earth. We give our imagination free rein. We try to visualise the wonder of all things made new, glistening with health, spirit and immortality. We try to picture a level of life unlimited by anything, as we soar creatively achieving everything we were incapable of in this life. And that just for starters! Let’s not be mean-minded or timid. The new heaven and the new earth leave fanciful Pandora in the shade and leave us to feast sumptuously in the radiant glory of God.