See, I am making all things new!
In Mel Gibson’s film ‘The Passion Of The Christ’, the encounter of Mother and Son comes after one of Our Lord’s falls under the crushing burden of his ordeal. We see, in a brief flashback, Mary remembering the tears and grazed knees of a run-and-tumble of Jesus as a child. She wants to rush to gather him up in her arms, with a mother’s instinct ‘to make it better’ - it is God’s overwhelming abundance of Love with its impulse to make whole and heal. The film quickly returns us to the Way of the Cross and a most touching close-up of the Son, though bruised and bloodied, consoling his Mother with tender, even radiant, expression, as he says ‘See, I am making all things new!’ -- it’s the same creative Love that has willed the Incarnation to be the pivot of the whole human story. God’s way of showing us how to be human.
Today, nearing the end of Lent’s pilgrim way, we are looking forward to arrival, but may be uncertain of the outcome because we face the challenge of how to enter deeply into the heart of Christ’s Paschal Mystery, the climax of Holy Week – the mystery of how we, the body at the altar, become the Body on the altar. So, it is a comfort to realise that what the Readings anticipate is this rather anxious mood that we share with all pilgrims who want to ‘see Jesus’.
Today’s powerful words reassure us and help us come to terms with ‘the kind of death Jesus was to die’. The horror of it is plain to see, even as Jesus looks ahead with ‘prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and tears’. We are told ‘his soul was troubled’ as his fateful ‘hour’ approached, in which he was to give all like ‘a wheat grain’ which ‘falls on the ground and dies’.
Yet, the whole while, Our Lord invites us to share this fate with him. With his ‘wherever I am, my servant will be there too’, and his ‘follow me,’ and his ‘I am with you always,’ he helps us to trust, come what may, in his Father as we face our own ordeals. He comes to show us how to be human.
Solid beneath the turmoil and pain of our lives is his bedrock of trust in God. The seam that runs through it is Our Lord’s refrain, ‘not my will, but your Will be done’. To be truly human is to be open to being transformed, for the outcome in fact is wonderfully certain. It’s the inauguration of the ‘new covenant written in our hearts’, foretold by Jeremiah and sealed, once and for all, by the Saviour who laid down his life for us. So ‘do not be afraid’. The Crucified One will become ‘a source of eternal salvation’ for all.
Having been ‘lifted up from the earth’, he will ‘draw all people to himself’, that is, all humanity, all Creation, drawn to follow, drawn to share unconditionally in his new existence as The Risen Christ. ‘See, I am making all things new!’ is good news indeed!
May the Readings prepare us well for what lies at the end of both our Lent and our life journey and prove a trust-filled and faith-filled meeting with the generosity of our God.
The Fruit of Trust in God
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