Sunday, December 19, 2021

The Metaverse: 4th Sunday of Advent 2021


4th Sunday of Advent December 18th and 19th 2021


Mark Zuckerberg recently announced plans to merge Facebook, Instagram and all other Facebook properties into what he is calling the metaverse, or meta.  Metaverse means a more comprehensive universe and an improvement on the universe.

Universe, on the other hand, means the unity of all created things – a oneness if you will.

So God created the universe   

And Mark Zuckerburg has created the metaverse, a supposed improvement on God’s creation

We ought to pay REAL close attention when someone claims to have an improvement on God’s creation.


In our Gospel today, we read that Mary set out and traveled to the hill country to visit her relative Elizabeth, a hike of more than 80 miles.


And here is the thing, it had to be a difficult journey – you can’t walk 80 miles without struggle and dust and pain, but at least it is reality.  As a person who has spent his life hiking I can relate that hiking is both painful but also tremendously refreshing!


What we celebrate next weekend is our Lord entering into the universe from beyond the universe – his taking on human flesh, and Jesus did not offer a world free of pain… He took the road precisely that led to pain…Jesus chose reality.  And Jesus taught that in some mysterious way, known only to those who choose suffering as He did, that suffering leads to our happiness both now and also in the life to come in Heaven.

Hell is for those who choose comfort as their top priority and choose to run from the suffering. The atheist John Paul Sartre wrote a play in which one of the characters said that Hell is other people.  The metaverse offers a way out of interacting with other real people in reality.  Last week took me to 4 different airports as I was traveling for my retreat.  Everyone was either scrolling on the phone or eating or both.  The Metaverse did not just spring up, we have been slowly moving closer to it; death by 1,000 cuts if you will.

I, for my part, choose to live in the real world of reality, with all of its death and pain and harshness and suffering, awaiting the Return of the King at the end of time.

There is an improvement coming to the universe, but it will only be accomplished by God the Father.  The book of Revelations says “I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth coming down out of the clouds for the first earth and the first Heaven had passed away.”  We who strive to be followers of Jesus await that improvement of the universe, and will not settle for any false upgrades.

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