Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Keep It Simple!

  As the Easter season winds down the readings are moving away from the appearances of the Risen Lord to Jesus preparation for His return to the Father in the Christian mystery known as the Ascension.  It is too easy to think of this mystery, that we celebrate in a few weeks, as a sort of heavenly space shot. that may seem irreverent but that is how I think many Christians perceive that event.  It is so much more. It is Jesus transitioning from being present to us in a way that is limited, being present only in one place and at one time, even in His risen form, to being able to be present to all at the same time everywhere--in the Eucharist and in the entire life of the Church.

   In the Gospel text for the coming Sunday we read in John 14:23-24, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him."  Christianity is about accepting this offer, an offer which the Lord gives in different ways throughout the Gospels.This tells us that Jesus and His Father (as well as the Spirit) desire to dwell in us now.  We prefer to keep God at a distance and then we wonder how we will get to God, what we need to do to get to heaven.  We are afraid of spiritual intimacy.  We find it too good to be true. We think that when we overcome our sins God will dwell with us.  Wrong!!!  It is the other way around. Ask God to dwell with us and our sins will be overcome.  Even our approach to the Eucharist reflects this fear.  We readily believe that bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, and indeed that is true.  We find it hard to believe that that transformation is only the first step. We then are transformed and sent into the world to be Christ for others.  When we start to take that seriously both we and the world will change.

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