Wednesday, May 24, 2017

God is everywhere


The Advanced Catechism printed in 1901 asks, "Where is God?" and answers, "God is everywhere."   Once as I stood in our front yard when I was 6 or 7 and looked out over the valley and the hills and the sky, I remember thinking that all that was God and I was in God.  As I grew I more often thought of God as "up in Heaven," as did everyone I knew.  Even now on TV whenever someone talks of God, they look up.  That view may have worked for many people before space travel.  In our time this is a God who is easy to dismiss.
Now, more than ever, we have to take seriously our childhood answer, "God is everywhere."  We can find new images and metaphors in our modern view of the world that enable us to imagine where God is.  I find it very satisfying to imagine God right here but in another dimension invisible to us.  A Presence in us and around us that is personal, that knows us and loves us graciously.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ascension


The moment Jesus rises from the dead he is in the eternal world.  Like sunlight moving through the fog, the Risen Christ appears to his disciples off and on.  It's as if he can't say goodbye.  He has lived with these men and women; and, as a full human being, he has grown to love them.  There comes a day when he no longer appears to them. In the Spirit of Love he moves within them so that he can continue through them to touch others with his love.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Anti-climax



Celebrating a 55th anniversary seems anti-climactic.  A 50th is the big deal.  55th?!  You still hanging around?! 
We cut that tree down.  We thought that was the end of it.  Look at all those new little signs of life sprouting out of it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Paraclete


The word "paraclete" is one of the few words in  the New Testament that many translators simply  reproduce in an English sounding word.  It means something like "a person who stands alongside another."  Comparable English words might be advocate, intercessor, counsellor, protector, support.  In John's Gospel as Jesus bids his disciples farewell he says that he will send them "another paraclete" (14:16,) implying that he himself was the first paraclete.  In meditating on the Holy Spirit and on Jesus, I find it rewarding to consider them in each of these roles in my life and in the life of  the Church.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Reach


It is not enough for you to be my servant,
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back the survivors of Israel;
I shall make you a light to the nations
so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
                                                                                    
This verse from Isaiah (49:6) is one of several in the Old Testament that clearly expresses God's will for universal salvation.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Room for Everybody


We believe that Jesus died and rose for the whole human race.  Jesus says "I am the Gate" (John 10:9,)  "I am the Way" (John 14:6.)  Science fiction might say "Jesus is the portal."  The point is that in rising Jesus makes an opening into the eternal world.  We used to say "opened the gates of heaven." That opening is wide enough to let the whole world through.
We are Christians, not so we will have an exclusive right to heaven, but so we can tell the whole world that Jesus loves us all and makes our lives right now worthwhile and wants every human being to be with him in eternal joy.
(clicking on the picture enables you to appreciate the newly arrived barn swallows)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Baffling Love


How baffling you are, oh Church,
and yet how I love you!
How you have made me suffer,
and yet how much I owe you!
I should like to see you destroyed,
and yet I need your presence.
You have given me so much scandal
and yet you have made me understand sanctity.
I have seen nothing in the world more
devoted to obscurity, more compromised,
more false, and I have touched nothing more pure,
more generous, more beautiful.
How often I have wanted to shut the doors
of my soul in your face, and how often
I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.

No, I cannot free myself from you, because
I am you,
although not completely.
And where should I go?

(Carlo Caretto, The God Who Comes)