“Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:15)
We have true and powerful hope because Christ is Risen! In Christ we have a new life because Jesus directs us immediately to Eternal Life. “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4). And further at Romans 10:9 the apostle states: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” The joy of the Gospel is the risen Christ!
Have you walked and talked with the risen Christ like the two disciples did on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13)? Have you said to the risen Jesus, ‘I want to know you and the ever new power flowing from your resurrection’ (see Phil. 3:10)? Have you recognized the Risen Christ in the breaking of the bread (see Luke 24:35; CCC 1392)? Have you allowed Jesus to say to you, “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25)?
Saint Paul was also traveling along a road when he suddenly encountered the risen Christ. F. X. Durrwell, the great Biblical theologian on the meaning of Christ’s Resurrection, says, “No one can believe without having seen that magnetic sign, without having met, somewhere along the road to Damascus [like Saint Paul] Christ risen from the dead” (In the Redeeming Christ, page 109). Durrwell further says: “”Thus, by communicating in Christ through faith, the believer is charged with the dynamism of the Resurrection, with that immense power of the Last Day which will raise up the whole of mankind: ‘The exceeding greatness of…his power which he wrought in Christ…towards us who believe’ (Ephesians 1:19)” (Id at 100).
Still further, Durrwell states: “That is why faith works miracles. Christ is risen, all power is given him in the eschatalogical Kingdom, and he grants to those who believe in him to do greater things even than those he himself did on earth” (Id at 101). A man who is now a priest in our Archdiocese was driving alone in his car when, while praying, he was suddenly in the presence of the risen Christ! (see previous post: Miracle on M-14 th Street).
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
There is an awesome section In Pope Francis’ The Joy of the Gospel entitled “Eternal Newness” where the Pope reflects on Jesus Christ as the ever-living source of eternal newness, saying:
“Christ is the “eternal Gospel” (Rev 14:6); he “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8), yet his riches and beauty are inexhaustible. He is for ever young and a constant source of newness. The Church never fails to be amazed at “the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God” (Rom 11:33). Saint John of the Cross says that “the thicket of God’s wisdom and knowledge is so deep and so broad that the soul, however much it has come to know of it, can always penetrate deeper within it”. Or as Saint Irenaeus writes: “By his coming, Christ brought with him all newness”. With this newness he is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old. Jesus can also break through the dull categories with which we would enclose him and he constantly amazes us by his divine creativity. Whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world. Every form of authentic evangelization is always “new”. (Section # 11)
Father Garrigou-LaGrange, the great Dominican priest, states that “…the risen Christ dies no more and possesses eternal youth. Now he vivifies us by ever new graces that he may render us like Himself” (The Three Ages of the Interior Life, p.44). The risen Christ is the true fountain of youth! Did the Lord not say himself: “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). And: “ Out of his heart [of Jesus] will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).
One more thing…through the risen Christ comes the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit!! Father Durrwell explains:“The Resurrection of Jesus is the total outpouring of the Spirit in the world, the flowing into creation of the immense flood which pours out from the Father in the Son” (Holy Spirit of God, page 10). The Catechism of the Catholic Church amplifies Father Durrwell’s insight:
“This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people. On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit, a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost. Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim “the mighty works of God,” and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age. Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn” ( CCC #1287).
Jesus says, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:15) “All things” includes you and me! Jesus, risen from the dead, is the source of Eternal Newness.
Tom Mulcahy, M.A.
Image: The Road to Emmaus. Per Wikipedia, “A depiction of Saint Cleopas as one of the disciples who met Jesus during the Road to Emmaus appearance. By: Joseph von Fuhrich, 1837 (Public Domain, U.S.A.).
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