I remember the first time I saw the film “The Passion of the Christ.” It was such a powerful and at times difficult experience to watch Jesus suffer for love of us. About halfway through the movie, as Jesus is carrying His Cross to Golgotha, He falls for the second time, and there to greet him is the Apostle John and Mary, His Mother, with a look on her face that says, “Why must you do this, my Son?” In the film His reply is paraphrased from Sunday’s second reading; “See Mother? I make all things new.” With that he takes up the cross and carries onward to Calvary.
Jesus speaks these words from His heavenly throne the end of Revelation, the last book in the Bible. The scene is the resolution of a story that began way back in the Garden of Eden. We have a tendency to think of Heaven as a different place—that upon death our souls leave our bodies behind and go to a different and better place than the here and now. The Book of Revelation shows us something quite different. Jesus, by his Passion, Death and Resurrection, has made and is making all things new again. We aren’t going to Heaven, Heaven is coming here. Everything God created is good (Genesis 1:31) and was made for eternity, including you and me. Although, nothing will enter eternity without first being transformed.
This matters to us beyond mere theological accuracy. It is a practical truth. “Behold I make all things new” reminds us that all things will be made new. Imagine what it must be like to live in a world where everything is a sign pointing to a heavenly reality. Christ’s promise to make all things new again is a promise that all of creation is just such a sign. We need to learn to stop looking at things and start looking along them. There is wisdom to be found here regarding what it means to be a part of this creation. We are all destined to be made new in Christ. All people can be made new and are redeemed by Christ. No one is too broken or too lost. This should have a profound effect on the love we show to each other (Jesus’ command in this Sunday’s Gospel) for it demonstrates our true worth in God’s eyes.
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.”