Home
LIVING THE CATHOLIC FAITH IN THE 3RD MILLENIUM
A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE JOURNEY OF FAITH

5th Sunday of Easter - A New Heaven and A New Earth

The Book of Revelation speaks to those who look to God for a comfort that only God can give. It is a prophetic book urging us to listen carefully to the Word of God and stay faithful to the covenant God has made with us in Christ. Today's passage presents us with a powerful promise of "a new heaven and a new earth," and if there was ever a time for God to "make all things new" now is the moment.

newheavennewearthAmid all of the world’s agonies, especially the ongoing conflict in Ukraine - with the tragic loss of life and displacement of millions of refugees, it might become easy for us to lose hope or ask how long must we wait for it all to be finished? Where is this promised "new heaven and new earth?" How long must we wait for the completion and renewal of all creation to finally happen?

But the real questions need to go much deeper. The present is determined by our vision of the future. This the basic paradox that is at the heart of the Christian Gospel: death leading to life, darkness giving way to light, suffering as the road to glory. Unless and until we accept this fundamental condition, we will never understand the love we are called to share. We will never be fully at peace. We will continue to worry and fret, to question God's will and His love, to resent the predominance of evil and to slip easily into moods of doubt and despair.

Perhaps this gives us a clue as to what Jesus was talking about in his discourse to the disciples. When we examine our own relationship, both with God and with neighbor, we certainly realize how difficult it is for us to imitate the love of Jesus. Our love is imperfect. It can be colored by fear, by some hidden motive, by selfishness. Often, our love is conditional. We only love those whom we like, or those who earn our love by pleasing us. Our love is fragile and sensitive. It withers and dies if we are hurt or misunderstood. Or we simply grow tired of giving.

"Loving one another" is based on the knowledge that, despite the apparent victories of evil in our world, good will overcome this evil in the end and those who have persevered and lived faithful lives will be rewarded. If we take seriously the "new commandment" that Jesus leaves us, we will have to keep examining the quality of our love, to see if it really reflects the kind of unselfish love that He spoke about and lived by. When Jesus says "Love another as I have loved you", it sounds deceptively simple and easy. But when we measure our love of God and neighbor against that "simple" rule, we find that we fall far short of that ideal most at the time.

Yet this is the heart of the Gospel message - the foundation stone of our Christian faith. Love is a gift of God. When we learn to love, we experience God and our love only reflects God when it is not focused on self but on others. Our love is only God-like when it is given unconditionally, without being earned and when it seeks no return.

So, we must continue to confront evil in its many manifestations. And if we cannot "wipe every tear from their eyes," as God promises to do, at least in the meantime, that hope will urge us to wipe the tears from the eyes of others. Only then will the transformation be complete — all things will be made new and we will see a "new heaven and a new earth."

Welcome!

eCatholicism.org is a collection of Internet Resources with up-do-date and current information regarding the Church's interaction with the modern world, politics and society.

Besides being a resource for information, eCatholicism.org will also offer our visitors the ability to proclaim the Good News in new ways, to serve as witnesses to the Saving Power of our God and to re-affirm their identity as Catholic communities to a world which desperately needs to hear the Gospel message - now more than ever before.

CURRENT REFLECTION

NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES...

bearingfruitIn these final weeks of Easter as we prepare for the feast of Pentecost, the Gospel readings for Sundays and weekdays are taken almost entirely from Jesus' farewell discourse at the Last Supper (John 13-17). Jesus is saying a very unique goodbye. He is leaving his beloved band of followers, but promises to be with them in the future in a new way. He's not just saying, "Cheer up, things won't be so bad." Actually things are going to get quite bad for him and them. But he is assuring them that the coming of the Holy Spirit will keep their relationship alive because the Spirit will be the bond that holds them together in love with him and his Father.

READ MORE

HEADLINES & ARTICLES OF INTEREST

  • WHEN TIMING IS PARAMOUNT
    WHEN TIMING IS PARAMOUNT

    What the public has not heard is a matching statement from the Church’s leaders spelling out the components of a “culture of life” that would protect and empower vulnerable women and children.
     

    MORE...
  • IF ROE IS OVERTURNED, WHAT SHOULD BE NEXT FOR THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT?
    IF ROE IS OVERTURNED, WHAT SHOULD BE NEXT FOR THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT?

    Now is the time to get to work & create a world that protects not just the unborn but also the equally human and valuable people carrying them.

    MORE...
  • CATHOLICS IN THE CROSSFIRE IN A POST-ROE WORLD
    CATHOLICS IN THE CROSSFIRE IN A POST-ROE WORLD

    The leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court indicates that Roe will be overturned. While this is good news, there are things to consider.
     

    MORE...
  • THE APOSTLES, THE AMERICAN BISHOPS AND THE US SUPREME COURT
    THE APOSTLES, THE AMERICAN BISHOPS AND THE US SUPREME COURT

    The conflict on abortion is not so much about its morality but about determining what is the most appropriate law and policy to govern it.

    MORE...
  • FOR CELIBACY TO BE A GIFT, IT MUST BE GROUNDED IN REALITY
    FOR CELIBACY TO BE A GIFT, IT MUST BE GROUNDED IN REALITY

    For those discerning the priesthood and religious life, celibacy is often one of the main barriers to entry. As Pope Francis says, celibacy is a gift—but any gift can be misused.

    MORE...
  • ‘THE CHOSEN’ – WHEN JESUS BECOMES A TV SERIES
    ‘THE CHOSEN’ – WHEN JESUS BECOMES A TV SERIES

    The central idea of writing fiction that combines the essential episodes of the Gospelis legitimate in its approach as it reveals the humanity of both Jesus and the other characters.

    MORE...
  • CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE CLOSURE OPENS THE DOOR TO PARTISAN AND IDEOLOGICAL CHURCH COVERAGE
    CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE CLOSURE OPENS THE DOOR TO PARTISAN AND IDEOLOGICAL CHURCH COVERAGE

    There’s going to be a big gap in what our parishioners are going to know about what’s going on in the U.S. and throughout North America.

    MORE...
  • IN CLOSING CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, U.S. BISHOPS UNDERMINE THEIR PASTORAL WORK
    IN CLOSING CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE, U.S. BISHOPS UNDERMINE THEIR PASTORAL WORK

    No editing, no accountability, no professionalism adds up to no credibility. And that is what the Catholic bishops are sacrificing...

    MORE...