Short Thoughts 05 28 17
Today we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. The Son of God always was with the Father in heaven. But in a special way Jesus, the Son of God, becomes human, leaves this world and goes into the heavenly realm. He physically leaves this world, no longer seen as that man who died and rose. Tradition, however, does teach us that the glorified Jesus will return physically at the last judgment. Jesus ascended to heaven with a glorified body that somehow still had physical attributes. To me this completes the resurrection process for us. I believe that somehow we too will retain some type of physical attributes after our own personal resurrection. In eternal life, we will be in the presence of God not only spiritually, but also like our brother Jesus with a glorified body. Our bodies are a part of who we are. Jesus’ ascension shows us that our bodies will have a share in eternal life. His ascension indicates that our bodies are not to be discarded like empty jars.
Short Thoughts 05 21 17
As we move through the Easter season, the focus of our gospel readings moves from the Resurrection to how the Risen Christ will remain in our lives. While Pentecost is still two weeks away, our gospel tells us that the Father will send the Spirit of truth. Jesus does not want to leave us to fend for ourselves on our own. He knows that we need divine help us to continue on the path that He laid out for us. The Spirit that is sent into our lives is meant not to simply be a physical presence around us, but rather a personal presence within us. If we are open, we are infused with the Spirit of Christ and He will live in and through us. We accomplish that when we follow Jesus’ commands by loving God and neighbor. As we recognize the outpouring of God into our lives, we feel the need to share it with others. Jesus the Christ will always be with us. All we need to do is look within and see His essence deep within us to help us any time.
Short Thoughts 05 14 17
Today’s gospel is often read at funerals. I believe that it is chosen because it is a gospel of hope and trust. At the passing of a loved one from this life to the next, there is an air of uncertainty. The gospel reading conveys a sense of comfort for the mourners in attendance that their loved one is not only in a better place, but also fulfilled in eternal life. We know with a certain hope that each of us has a prepared place in eternal life. Hope… because we do not fully understand what to expect, but certainty… in that Jesus has promised it. We trust in Christ Jesus since He has not only paved the way but will also accompany us that journey to our everlasting home. But the reading is not just for funerals as it reminds us that Jesus gives direction and meaning today and everyday.
Short Thoughts 05 07 17
Every year we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday. It is good to be reminded that we need someone who will watch over us, look out for our best interests, and be our guide and protector. Of course, spiritually Christ Jesus does just that. He came to show us the way to eternal life caring for us along the way. He taught us, died for us and rose for our sake. He never leaves alone us to fend for ourselves as He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us as our advocate, protector and guide for all time. However, being the good shepherd is not just reserved for Jesus. Each of us can be a good shepherd in the spirit of Jesus. We all have a chance to look out for someone. We can be a guide to, a mentor of, or a protector for any number of our brothers and sisters. Let Christ flow though you, as you look out for and help one another in your daily lives.
Short Thoughts 04 30 17
Today we hear the gospel passage of the Road to Emmaus. The risen Jesus met two of His disciples. They were journeying home after witnessing His death and hearing about His resurrection. Their minds and hearts were filled with conflict and perplexity. They needed comfort and resolution. Traveling along with them, Jesus touched them with His words and actions. He opened their eyes to the meaning of the Emmanuel – “God with us” – in their lives. He gave them what they needed. The Risen Lord, Jesus the Christ, would always be with them. This wonderful passage teaches us how Christ is not bound by time or limited by space. Christ was there for the disciples on the road and is here for us today. Christ is ever-present and all we have to do is open our hearts and let him in. We invite him walk with us, teach us and fill us with the essence of God every day of our lives. We just need to open our eyes as the disciples did in Emmaus.