The Newness of Easter

“Behold, I make all things new.”

Springtime! Easter! Fiesta! – we join in celebrating new life! Each spring creation changes physically as new life emerges everywhere. Flowers bloom, the foliage on the trees buds forth, the birds fill the air with music.

Easter also celebrates new life, which implies change. But what changes? Does each one of us become a different person? Is our world transformed? Or does Easter zoom past us and everything is just “the same old, same old?”

Just what do we mean by “new?” The Scriptures speak of a turning around, or a “conversion.” This is a radical change of vision, a re-ordering of priorities in life. It also means new attitudes, new values, and new ways of relating to God and to others.

Jesus’s new commandment to “love one another” as He has loved us is at the heart of that conversion. If we love as Jesus loved, we are called to a new way of thinking, of seeing, of behaving and of interacting with other people.

To be a disciple of Jesus demands that we reach out to others in a caring manner regardless of their possible or actual response. It means showing compassion for others, especially those who have offended us. Jesus loved those who tried to trick him, those who laid traps for him. He had a special concern for those who were considered sinners by society because He recognized not only what they were doing to others but also to themselves.

Are we, then, truly loving, caring and forgiving? Do we make an effort to make whole those who are hurt and broken?

And, ultimately, do we really love ourselves? If we do not see ourselves as loveable, how can we reach out and love others who cannot love themselves?

The “new earth, the new heaven and the new Jerusalem” comes into existence when we reach out, build community and work together for the reign of God or for the transformation of society into “the city of God.”