You may have noticed over the past couple of weeks that the readings are clearly focused on the end of time. John has taken great pains to describe visions that he has seen about the next life in the next world. In the midst of all of this, perhaps the most important observation that John makes is the vision of a new heavens and a new earth. The reason I think this is so important for us, is all too often in our lives there are too many instances where we see things that are falling apart. I am not talking simply about physical things, although certainly watching someone age, and experience the inevitable hardships that come with growing older, is certainly quite important.
No, I am referring in so many ways to what we encounter time and time again in our world, throughout all ages of history. It’s not difficult to become overwhelmed by those things that we see occurring in our world. It’s sad in so many ways, that the things that human beings have been struggling with in terms of sin are still in our midst. People still do not get along, we still not learn to share, there are times are we treat people differently for very superficial reasons like the color of their skin, and the world is increasingly becoming a place of great disparity financially and otherwise.
If this is all there is, then indeed we are the saddest of peoples. It is not to suggest that life is miserable. I feel like I’m a pretty happy person. Perhaps you do too. But these events should remind us to focus our attention on the person of God who calls us to this new and extraordinary life. In the Psalms, God tells us that he is doing something new. In today’s reading John sees a vision of a new heavens and a new earth. And certainly the resurrection of Jesus changed everything about what it meant to be a follower of God. There was something far more important to hope for and to hope in because Jesus extends to each of us this tremendous gift of unending and eternal life.
It is important to remember that this newness occurs whether we see it or not. And so, it should be some comfort and consolation to those who may not feel that there is much new, or who may not see much new in their lives, to know that God continues to do these things, even when we are unaware.
Certainly this is so, because God loves us more than we can possibly imagine. Even when we cannot see the goodness that God has implanted in us in our own lives, it not only remains there, but it wants to burst forth to demonstrate more clearly and convincingly the glory and the love of God. And so is God make something new of you and me, as God prepares this tremendous place the Jesus speaks about in the Gospels, let us ask the Lord to help us to become more aware of this great and glorious presence that is always with us.