Sunday, May 24, 2020

+ Ascension A +

Today Jesus disappears in order to be more intensely present in Word and Sacrament, in every time, in every place, in every heart.

The Ascension calls us to discover for ourselves his Presence hidden within and among us, hidden in our human experience.

In Jesus, God seeks after us when we are lost, but part of the dance of love is that we—eachof us in private, all of us at the Eucharist—must seek after him.

We must ponderweigh, ask to experience the meaning of—the scripture. We must ponderthe Liturgy. As Paul prays today:

May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and insight to know him clearly, so that with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.

Jesus is always offering us signs of his presence, quiet signs, signs that inspire rather than threaten.  Even today Matthew tells us, “When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.”

Think about that. Our human frailty means that we will continue to worship and to doubt. We never have all the answers, we choose to trust a person—a person who speaks in silenceand in gesture.

Believers are those who know more than they can say. Believers are those who intuit in the depths their own hearts, the silent presence of Someone, Someone who has a human face.

It is that silent Presence that turns us into witnesses. The lives of witnesses become transparent. Clearly, gently, faithfully, they reveal the love of Christ. Their faces become the face of Christ.

When people realize that they have been gazed upon with understanding and compassion, that they have been welcomed, heard, encouraged—they get a glimpse of Christ.

Most often witnesses are people with nothing to prove, people who have come to depend on God—children, grandparents, mentors, widows, older religious, even the occasional priest.

I’m not saying this to give him a big head, but when you can finally see Fr. Watters celebrating Mass again, look at his face.

The visibility of Christ in the world is now us. What we do here sends us out to be witnesses to the gospel out there, in the city, where we live and work.

Christ has need of our hands to share with others the bread of friendship and solidarity, as much as to break and share the bread of the Eucharist.

Useless servants that we are, we give visibility to Christ.

In a marvelous way, in a way shining through our human fragility, as it did through his, it comes true:

“And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.”

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