News and Schedules - From the Pastor
Would you like to have something new in your life?
A very pregnant mother asked her 4-year-old son: “Timmy, how would you like to have a new baby sister?” Timmy frowned and then said, “Can we get a new puppy instead?”
The Scripture readings this weekend are full of new gifts that God wants to give us. In the Gospel passage Jesus gives us a new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” In the 2nd Reading, St. John has a vision in which he sees a new heaven and a new earth and hears God say from His throne, “Behold I make all things new.” And in the 1st Reading, Paul and Barnabas went about preaching the Good News that God’s salvation was to be given not only to the Chosen People but to the Gentiles as well.
The Easter Season is truly the time of celebrating all the good new things God has in store for us. The first piece of Good News is that God has sent Jesus to save, not just a few favored people or one nation, but to save every person of every time and place. As we have been celebrating, God, on Good Friday, makes it possible for every one of us to receive forgiveness of our sins by the Passion and Death of His Son. And, on Easter Sunday, God makes it possible for everyone of us to rise to new life through the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Can there be any better news than that? Then, the Scriptures offer some picture of what this new life will entail. It will be a life in which we get to live with God, and He will be present to us in a whole new way of living: “there will be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” Just think of it! We will return to a new paradise as God has originally intended for us. No more suffering, no more sorrow, no long waits in the doctor’s office, no battling with the government or insurance companies to get claims settled. Now, that is truly good news!
These are, of course, the ultimate Easter gifts and the reason for the Passover of Christ—from heaven to earth at Christmas, from sin to forgiveness on Good Friday, from death to life on Easter Sunday. It has pleased God to make all these new gifts available to us. What God expects is that we will desire and want them more than anything else in life.
Not only are we to desire them but, like Paul and Barnabas in the 1st Reading, we are to bring this Good News to others. When we practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, we join with Jesus in bringing the wonderful news of God’s personal love for each one of us. Sick people find healing; depressed people are lifted up; sorrowing people find hope and even joy. Doing these things will enable us to fulfill Jesus instruction in the Gospel. “I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.”
Our resolutions for this Fifth Sunday in Easter should be to rejoice in all these new gifts ourselves and to help others to share in this great Good News of God’s ever-old, ever-new love for us. If we do so, we will come to that new life that awaits us at home in His Kingdom.