September 30, 2013
And He that sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
In Mel Gibson’s, The Passion of the Christ, Jesus says these words to His mother, gazing into her eyes after He had fallen on the Via Dolorosa. Ultimately, from the throne of the cross He did indeed make all things new.
I have often puzzled over these words because they are spoken in the present tense. The new heaven and new earth are, for us earthbound souls, in the future. But another way to look at these words of God relates to the conversion of sinners, which applies to all of us individually. The “thing” that is made new is our soul every time we repent and ask for forgiveness.
Whoever and however we are today, if we are living a Christ centered life, we are not the same as we were ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. If during a time in our life we lived and made choices without reference to God, the moment we choose God over all else, Jesus begins making us new and He continues to work in us as long as we let Him.
Sometimes, though, we have sinned so grievously that a temporal accounting of our deeds must be made under the law. The new man must pay for the sins of the old man. A forty year old burden may be laid down when a capital crime is finally confessed. The seeds of sexual promiscuity may bring about serious health problems years later long after a person has changed his/her life for the better. Embezzlement of millions results in discovery and a long prison term begins. Disaster, shame, and scandal ensue with these revelations that warrant prison. Relatives and friends are hurt. But what can the positive outcome be of bringing sins to public light?
For the new man, what looks like disaster and shame becomes the opportunity for repentance, healing and peace. Reparation is his hallmark. Giving the burden to Jesus on the cross and accepting the punishment due with a contrite heart allows God to restore what we lost by living contrary to His laws. Some of the greatest conversion stories are those from people who behaved terribly wrongly and then embraced the Lord.
Even if we have not broken the earthly law, we may still have sinned grievously enough to bear a load of guilt and shame. My neighbor and I were talking one day and she said she has heard a number of times, “My sins are so terrible God can never forgive me.” If we hear someone say those words, we are hearing despair. We are hearing a person who is limiting God’s mercy. We are hearing a cry for help. We are hearing a person with a still active conscience. We are hearing a person ripe for conversion. At that point we must bring Jesus to the person; that Jesus who said as He was being murdered, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
All the Alcoholics Anonymous groups and their various offshoots are full of repentant sinners Jesus is making new, sinners helping sinners recover from sin. Everyone in the line for confession in every Catholic church around the world is a recovering sinner who is being made new by Jesus, even when he is a repeat offender as so many of us are. The patience and infinite mercy of God allows us to be made new, finally to the point of eternal life.
What will I do today to help a fellow sinner encounter this mercy and love? Especially among my family and friends. We have been put in the paths of repentant sinners who have helped us along. Now we must consider what we can do for others, remembering Jesus’ admonition to us in Matt. 7: 1-5:
Judge not, that you may not be judged, For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Want to subscribe to posts by email? Visit the third box in the sidebar.
V. Praised be Jesus Christ!
R. Now and forever! (Click on the link above to read why I end my posts this way.)
This post linked with Sunday Snippets.
7 Comments to Behold, I Make All Things New
Email notification of posts
I am grateful for even small donations to help keep this site going. All donors will be kept in my prayers.