Usually in August, students are starting a new school year, the summer activities are winding down, people are returning from vacation mode and settling into their new routines. There is a sense of a new year, even though the year on the calendar remains the same. This year, we need the sense of renewal more than ever.
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.” – Revelation 21:3-5
He will make all things NEW. It sounds wonderful. But do we really want that? Do we really pray for that? If ALL THINGS are going to be new that means each of us will need to be made new. That means each of us will need to change.
When the children start a new school year, there is a sense of the familiar, but it is a strong sense of NEW. A new teacher, different classmates, new books, new clothes, and fresh, new supplies. There is a great sense of possibility. Can we look at ourselves and open ourselves to a new, fresh relationship with God? Can we open up to a real, loving, intimate, and personal relationship with Jesus that we have not yet experienced?
The biggest step in renewal at our disposal is the Sacrament of Confession. If we make a strong examination of conscience and go with a contrite heart and a deep trust in Jesus’ mercy, His power and desire to forgive us, He will, indeed, change us in all the ways the Scripture describes. We will be His and He will be ours. The book, 40 Weeks, by Fr. Bill Watson, is an excellent way to take the time to learn to experience the Sacrament of Confession at this level. Bishop Berg personally recommends 40 Weeks to all the faithful of the diocese and has personally worked through these exercises based on the work of St. Ignatius.
He can and will make all things new. Will you accept this invitation and let Him make you new?