The last line of our reading from the book of Revelations is striking: The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” The death and resurrection of Christ has made all things new and “the old order has passed away.”
What is this talking about? What is the old order that has passed away and what is the new? Our short Gospel gives the answer: 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.
The old order was justice, captured in “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” The new order says “turn the other cheek.” The old order says “do not kill.” The new order says “do not be angry with another.”
The old order was protection, justice, and retribution. The new order is love of neighbor, which moves beyond and “fulfills” the old order. The new order can be summarized in “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.”
This is quite a challenge, because it goes against the way we are wired. God knows this and, therefore, has given us lots of help. First, He sent His Son who showed us how to do it by the way He lived and what He preached. Then He gave us the Eucharist as spiritual food to strengthen us in our struggles to live His Word. Finally, He gave us a community to support us as we all struggle together to live the law of love. All of this is buoyed up with the gift of His Holy Spirit.
We will never be perfect, but we have to be growing. How am I doing at “making all things new”? How can I do better?
Church sign of the week: Those who deserve love the least need it the most.