MAKING ALL THINGS NEW: A HOMILY ON THE 5TH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR C
Thus says the Lord, who made a way through the sea, a path in the great waters; who put chariots and horses in the field and a powerful army which lay there never to rise again, snuffed out, put out like a wick. No need to recall the past, no need to think about what was done before. See, I am doing a new deed, even now it comes to light; can you not see it? Yes, I am making a road in the wilderness, paths in the milds. The wild beasts will honour me, jackals and ostriches, because I am putting water in the wilderness (rivers in the wild) to give my chosen people drink. The people I have formed for myself will sing my praises: This reading tells us of some of the powerful things God has done. He will also do something new in your life. We are told that the best way to predict the future is to look at the past, that history always repeats itself, and that it is most likely for what has happened before to happen again, than for what has never happened before to happen, that nothing is new under the earth. God is telling us that he is more powerful than that, and that those rules do not apply to him. He can creat a spring in the desert.
Mr. Scared’s mother was very sick and at the point of death. When Mr. Scared discovered that his mother was sick, he also realised he has no money to take care of the funeral and he is the first son of his mother, and besides he is very scared of the dead. So he decided to travel to a very distant place. Then his mother died and the other members of the family sent him a Swartomlynde brief (a letter marked with a black line around the envelope. In those days, when you receive a letter marked with black lines on the envelope, it is usually to tell you that someone is dead). They told him in the letter about his mother’s death, and that he needs to come home as soon as possible. He replied to them by saying there is nothing new about his mother’s death. People die all the time. He told them he will only come home when something that has never happened happens. So they decided to send him another letter telling him to come home quickly, because his uncle has fallen pregnant and that in the village the moon comes out during the day and the sun during the night and that the community has appointed a goat as their leader, and so many other such stories. This time, he had no other choice than to go home. God is saying to us that he can make the impossible possible and that he can make something that has never happened before to happen. He will make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the wild.
JESUS IS MAKING ALL THINGS NEW
I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For him I have accepted the loss of everything, and I look on everything as so much rubbish if only I can have Christ and be given a place in Him I am no longer trying for perfection by my own efforts, the perfection that comes from the Law, but I want only the perfection that comes through faith in Christ, and is from God and based on faith. All I want is to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and to share his sufferings by reproducing the pattern of his death. That is the way I can hope to take my place in the resurrection of the dead. NOt that I have become perfect yet; I have not yet won, but I am still running, trying to capture the prize for which Christ Jesus captured me. I can assure you my brothers, I am far from thinking that I have already won. All I can say is that I forget the past and I strain ahead for what is still to come; I am racing for the finish, for the prize to which God calls us upwards to receive in Christ Jesus: Those who truly love Jesus are those who are prepared to lose everything if only they can have a place in Him. Someone described life as a beautiful struggle. I wonder if there is someone here who is not struggling with anything. It could be a particular sin, it could be family issues, it could be personal. Someone said that anybody who do not know that life is a battle, will not know what prayer is for. We are always told to do it ourselves, but we cannot always do it ourselves. God is there to help us with his word and his grace.
TIME OF MERCY, FORGIVENESS, HEALING AND SECOND CHANCE
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?’ They asked him this as a test, looking for something to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, ‘If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Then he bent down and wrote on the ground again. When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there. He looked up and said, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’ she replied. ‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus ‘go away, and do not sin any more.’: Jesus comes to the temple from the direction of the mount of olives which is the direction from which the glory of God left the temple. This is saying that something new is happening. It is no longer the era of misery but the era of Misericordia. We have a lot of opportunity for confessions. This is a sacrament of God’s mercy and forgiveness. After the confession, God gives us an opportunity to start all over again. A story is told of a politician who got the people’s vote, but when he assumed office he did not do most of what he promised. At the end of his first term he started campaigning for the second term and the people were angry with him and they promised him they will not vote for him since he failed them in the first term. Then he asked the people “If you send your child to school and your child fails in grade one, do you take the child out of the school or do you make them repeat the class? Since I failed in my first term, I will like to be treated like a learner in school and be told to repeat. That is why I want a second term.” Dont ask me if the people voted for him or not. But this is what God does for us. In his mercy, he always gives us a second chance. He still believes in us. He never gives up on us. He does not use history to judge us. He knows that the impossible can still be possible in our lives. He always gives us a new beginning, asking us to forget about past failures, past sins. He wants our future to be better than our past. He wants us to look ahead for the many blessings he has prepared for us. All we need is to be present. God wants to give you a new hairstyle. He wants to give you and make-over. He is making all things new. He wants to take us from misery to Misericodia.