All Things New

by Father Austin Charles Ochu

The good Lord is about making all things new. A  new Jerusalem, a new Heaven and a new Earth, a new commandment.

In our second reading from the book of Revelation ( 21: 1-5) the Lord  tells us that His saving and healing work in the world is an ongoing process: “See, I am making all things new”.

This theme of newness is continued in the gospel of John where Jesus says “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I  have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" John 13:34.

In other words, the Lord makes all things new through US (you and I), especially as we obey the new commandment of love.

Although the Lord is making all things new, we often prefer the old to the new. In our selfishness and greed, we value the comfort of the old life more than the sacrifices, sufferings, and love in the new life.

Our love for others makes the love of Jesus visible in our world today, as we hear in the verse - “That is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Awhile back, an American journalist, watching Mother Teresa caring for a man with gangrene, remarked to her: “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars." Mother Teresa replied: “Neither would I …. But I do it for love of God.”

Our Love of God manifests itself in our love of those around us. And our love for those around us authenticates our love of God.

Just as breathing ( In and Out ) is one exercise not two, so also love of God and love of the other is One exercise not two. See 1 John 4:21

Love always demands the best from us, and brings out the best in us.

Being loved gives us a surprising energy and courage. Love makes us fruitful, productive, strong and constant in doing good. Love is our connection to God and to one another.  The parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10 shows us that everyone is my neighbor, even those of different nationality or religion.

Love is giving of self, and has power to heal ourselves and others. To love is to heal, both those who receive and those who give it. Love is more that a feeling, it is also a choice. When we choose to be loving, caring, healing, helping, and forgiving persons, we grow towards what our life is meant to be.  The Lord  Jesus reminds us again today: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Although this love can be difficult and demanding, but the power to do this is made possible by the New Covenant set up by Christ.

We pray today in the Holy Mass,  that we love others by responding to their everyday needs, that we can share our material gifts with those who have less, that we can comfort and protect those who have experienced loss, that we love others by  forgiving rather than condemning them, by challenging rather than condoning we love others by making sacrifices for them. This is how the world will know that we are the Disciples of Christ.