Fifth Sunday of Easter (May 19, 2019)

“I make all things new!”

This is the good news Jesus brings us through his death and resurrection. The world hasn’t been the same since that moment in history. Death on a cross is Jesus’ glorification; his death brings life. His glorification reaches its fullness in his resurrection, and he desires to share his new, glorious life with us. He has done that through the waters of our baptism.

We are a new creation. Jesus tells us that there will come a time when this new creation will be complete. We will be his people forever, dwelling with him. Every tear will be wiped away. There will be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain. All things will be completely new in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus has told us that he is going to his Father’s house to prepare a place for us. But he doesn’t want us to stand around looking to the heavens for his return. He has given us his sure promise of future happiness so that we will have the strength and courage to get about the daily work of loving one another in the same way that he has loved us.

Loving in this way will be a challenge each day. His promise gives us hope and encouragement as we try to meet the challenges of loving. Our efforts to love really do have an effect on this passing world in which we live. The sincerity and generosity of our efforts to love will be a sign in this world of Jesus’ continuing presence and work among us. Our efforts to love will continue to announce good news to all we meet.

In light of hearing once again Jesus’ commandment to love, it’s important this morning that we reflect on how committed we are to making daily efforts to love as Jesus has loved us. When we encounter people during the course of the day, do we try to witness to Jesus’ love for each person we meet? Jesus tells us clearly: “This is how all will know that you are my disciples.” Our answer to the question is important. How well we try to love one another in daily living is the true measure of our being Jesus’ good news right here and now.

Let’s pray for ourselves and for one another this morning at this Eucharist that we may grow even stronger and more courageous in our efforts to love as Jesus has loved us. Through us, Jesus is making all things new. May our God be praised in us!