"I Make All Things New"
Deacon Keith A Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God). He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away." The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Then he said, "Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” He said to me, "They are accomplished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water.”
These wonderful words were revealed to the beloved disciple John, on the Island of Patmos, in a vision recorded for all at the very end of the Christian Bible. They are recorded in the last book, the Book of Revelation, or the “Apocalypse”. They also address the heart cry of the entire human race and answer our deepest longing. At this time of the year, when we end one year and begin a new one, we are all drawn to deep reflection and all seem compelled to make resolutions. How deeply we want to be able to begin again, to be made new.
There is Good News! We truly can!
There is a powerful scene in the soon to be released Mel Gibson masterpiece “The Passion of the Christ”. In it, Mary, the Mother of the Lord, is runs to her wounded Son who has just fallen for the third time, from the weight of the Cross. There is a flash back to an earlier day when that same son, as a child, is seen playing in the dusty streets of Nazareth and is about to fall. With the tender love of a mother, Mary reaches out to her Son.
Then the viewer sees her hand touch the wounded face of the Savior who looks at her, and through words addressed to her speaks to every human person, from the beginning of time until the end: “Behold, I make all things new.” I was reminded of the scene this morning as I prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, took stock of 2003 and offered myself afresh to the Lord for 2004.
I had the privilege of viewing this extraordinary film in a private showing in Washington D.C. The theatre, owned by the Motion Pictures Association of America, was filled with Washington “movers and shakers.” Each of them had been glad-handing and talking through one another in the way that Washington insiders do, at least before the film began. They were different people by the time it was over. I am convinced that this is how this unbelievable film will affect millions in 2004, and beyond. It is an extraordinary work of art, no a profound encounter, with the only One who can “make all things new” Encounter Him we all did! By the end of this movie, there was not a dry eye in the place.
However, of all the scenes, that encounter between mother and Son was the one that grabbed me, at the core of my heart, and shook me to tears. They were tears of sorrow and joy co-mingled. It was so human and yet so divine, so full of promise and hope. The wounds on the Saviors sacred head, that had in the earlier scenes seemed so brutal, painful and hard to view, seemed to, almost in an instant, become beautiful. It all became clear that they were wounds of love, freely and redemptively embraced by the Savior, to “make all things new” for the entire human race.
With many others, I stayed in the theatre afterwards, to comment on the film for Mel Gibson and his team. This was an early release, unfinished, and they were eager to make this the best film that it could be. That kind of humility spoke as loudly as this treasure of filmmaking did. This movie is more than the triumph of Gibson’s career; it is his legacy and gift for generations to come. I also had the privilege of discussing the film in a smaller grouping, after the event was formally over. The group included Mel Gibson and several “notables” who had lingered, like me, unable to leave the encounter that is “The Passion of the Christ”
It was in that small informal gathering that a very influential political figure in Republican politics, a man whom I have known for many years to be a dedicated evangelical Christian, made an intriguing comment: “Mel, that film was so faithful to the biblical text, except for one scene.” “Which one” asked Gibson? “When Jesus meets his mother and says “Behold, I make all things new”, he continued “that is not in the Gospel account”.
I was compelled to immediately disagree. “To the ...
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