Immersed in Christ: September 24, 2020
Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
(Begin reading Ecclesiastes)
The Responsorial Psalm pinpoints hope: “In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge” (Psalm 90).
Ecclesiastes 1: 2-11 bears witness to a common perception of life on this earth: “There is nothing new under the sun.” The Sumerian religion that preceded Judaism thought human life here below mirrored the unchanging cycle of the stars, which revealed the divine life and will. When God intervened in history and chose Abraham, he broke the cycle. Something new was afoot.1
Jesus transformed everything. With Christianity “there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”2
Jesus came to establish a new covenant, to give the new life of the Spirit; creating new wineskins to hold new wine; a new garment to receive a new patch; making us a new dough to be unleavened bread purified of the old yeast.
Baptism makes us a new creation, everything has become new. We are one new humanity in place of the old division into Jews and Gentiles. We have received a new birth into a living hope. We are a new self with a new name, speaking new tongues.
We are being renewed in knowledge by a new teaching with authority, so that everyone trained for the kingdom of heaven draws from a treasure of what is new and what is old. We have received a new commandment. We are taught to follow a new and living way. We wait for new heavens and a new earth, the new Jerusalem that comes down from God out of heaven; where we will sing a new song. God says, “See, I am making all things new.”
No wonder we are committed to work for change in society! We are consecrated by Baptism stewards of the kingship of Christ to exercise leadership in making “all things new.”
In Luke 9: 7-9, when Herod heard “about all that was being done by Jesus” he sensed something new was taking place. “People were saying that John had risen from the dead,” and he too saw Jesus as more than a prophet (see Matthew 14:2). In his superstitious fear he had an inkling of the truth: that the Church can only be explained as Jesus risen, animating and empowering his body on earth. In us Christ himself is making “all things new.”
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Shine a new light on everything you touch.
1 See Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews.
2 References to all the following citations are given here in alphabetical order: 1Corinthians 5:7; 11:25; 2Corinthians 3:6; 5:17; 1John 2:8; 1Peter 1:3; 2Peter 3:13, 14:3; Acts 2:13; 17:19.; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 2:15; Galatians 6:15; Hebrews 8: 8, 13; 9:15; 10:20; 12:24; John 13:34; Luke 5:36-39; 22:20; Mark 1:27; 2:22; 14:25; 16:17; Matthew 9:17; 13:52; 26:29; Revelation 2:17; 3:1,12; 5:9; 21:1-2, 5; Romans 7:6.