“See: I Make All Things New”
Seasonal Message - by Fr. John Phalen, CSC, President
Holy Cross Family Ministries
We are in “Ordinary Time” that is to say “Ordered Time.” “Ordered toward what?” you might ask. Ordered toward a new heaven and a new earth. Ordered toward the time when there will be no suffering, no death, no waiting and no pain (cf. Rev. 21:1 4). This is that time of year when we recognize that God can make all things serve the good!
In the film, The Passion of the Christ, a captivating scene is when the Mother of Jesus reaches her Son as He is carrying His cross to Calvary. He falls and His Mother stoops down to Him and touches His face. He is almost unrecognizable. He says, “See Mother, how I make all things new!” What faith Mary and all Jesus’ followers required to believe that to be true!
The challenge of Ordinary Time is to believe that God is indeed, day after day, making all things new. This is wonderful consolation for those of us who have lost loved ones, for one day we will be with them again. It gives hope to the many who seek relief from natural disasters or the scourge of war! It is a comfort for those whose friendships have been damaged by disloyalty and lack of forgiveness. Gradually but surely at the pace of life, God is making all things new. Are we?
It is a good time to examine ourselves as to how much of our energy goes toward promoting reconciliation and expressing compassion rather than tearing down the reputations of others or even seeking revenge. As we pray our Rosary daily, hopefully with the whole family but possibly with a few or even by ourselves, we can meditate upon the life of Jesus Christ. We see again and again how He interacted with people, how He favored the needy; how He preached the Kingdom of justice, love and forgiveness. “The Rosary marks the rhythm of human life,” says John Paul II. The simple rhythm of our Rosary, like the rhythm of our daily lives, can move us like the current of a river toward living our lives based on the example of the Christ toward a new creation. Life is ordered that way in Ordinary Time.
If families fued with other families, this can be made new by our forgiving and forgetting. People who are isolated by society because of their physical or mental condition, their undocumented status, or their belonging to an unappreciated ethnic group, can find in us something new: faithful friends. Rather than seeing the negativity and hopelessness in the people and circumstances around us, we can see something new: the positive influence of the Gospel and its message of peace. This Ordinary Time can be a time when all of the followers of Christ join efforts to make our hearts, our families, our nations, the world, and all things new!