Come the fifth Sunday of Easter it may be that our paschal joy is beginning to wear a bit thin. But we have pointers in this Sunday’s readings that direct us beyond this time of rejoicing; indeed beyond any joys of this world.
Jesus reminds us in the gospel that he “shall not be with you much longer” – even though he rises from the dead, he does not remain here with us. He will pass from this world; but that is not the end of the story. As the risen Christ is transformed, so we look forward to a transformation of all humanity and of the world itself: “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev 21:1).
Only then will we see the God living with us and an end to sadness (Rev 21:3). Only then will we have what the Catechism calls “the final realisation of the unity of the human race, which God willed from creation” (CCC 1045). The Church here and now is a sign of that destiny: we are already God’s people, but our whole communion here and now points to the much greater reality of the vision of God and the transformation even of the universe.
We rightly rejoice, then, that Christ is risen; but we look forward to experiencing the fullness of a joy of which we will never be bored.