From Our Pastor: 5th Sunday of Easter
Behold I make all things new. This statement reminds us of the work that Christ has done and desires to do in each of us. As we peer through the veil of the Mass into heaven with John, we hear that good news that there will be no more pain or mourning or suffering or death, but the One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
This is what we need to bring ourselves to always remember, especially in the midst of pain and suffering, persecution and sadness, and death and mourning. All this offered to the cross becomes something life-giving, instead of destructive, that through this offered to the cross we become new and prepare for the day we are new in life eternal.
We are warned in the Acts of the Apostles that although Christ makes all things new, we will undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. The Church for much of her history has always thought that when you suffered or struggled or had health issues or difficulties in life that it was a sign of God’s love for you, that He allowed you to suffer with Him as he did on that cross. As life has gotten easier and better and plush, we started to see suffering as some punishment from God instead of a blessing to be nearer to Him.
Let us hear these words and embrace the hardships that we are given for the sake of the Kingdom and nearness to the King. Let us remind ourselves that in our sufferings we are closer to Him and conformed to Christ. Don’t run from God in those sufferings, but run to Him, as it is through Him we excel in that gift of suffering and faith.
In this passage we hear that the Church gathered to share and report all that God had done with them. We need to do the same. Gather with the community of faith to share all that God has done in us and with us. We need to tell all that we encounter of all that Christ has done with us and in us. This is how we share the love of Christ and His gospel.
His Gospel tells us today that Judas left. Sadly, some will walk with Christ, and they will walk away. It is difficult to follow after Him. It is difficult for some to accept the truth because they think they know more than Jesus and His Church. And because of this some will walk away. We always pray they have a conversion, most especially through our prayers and our outreach to bring them back to Him and to the truth.
Always be reaching out to those who have left Him, as the good news of Christ is they loved him at some point; we just must help them remember that love and remember that relationship, and to get over any obstacles that keep them from returning to Him. He calls us to witness to Him and to reach out to the forgotten and to love differently than the world, as He calls us to the commandment to love one another.
We are called to love one another as He loves us, but that means to lay down our lives and die to ourselves and to offer love and forgiveness in that very moment to the people we die for. This is the truth of selfless love Jesus calls us to. May we be willing to have people know we are the Lord’s by the way we have love for one another; it is selfless and complete. May our love then model His to give glory always to Him. This is how He makes all things new, including us: LOVE.
-Rev. Steven Arisman