Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ascension Sunday – Year A - 2008

Today’s’ Gospel is called the Great Commissioning let’s look at it.

The search for meaning and purpose is written on every human heart.
When the busyness of life slows down
and the quiet of the night or day draws us into ourselves

We are called to reflect
During these moments
Every human being asks what is this all about?
What is my purpose my goal what am I supposed to do?.
Every human being asks why am I here?

There are people who try to avoid asking these profound questions for years.
They fill their lives with noise
or busyness
or distractions to escape the question

But in the end everyone has to face them.
We face them in moments of challenge
We face them in moments of sickness, sadness, or disappointment
We face them when a loved one dies.
We face these ultimate questions in moments of inspiration or joy.

Quite frequently people wander through life looking for the answers
Sometimes they even think they may have found them in a person
Or possession
Or occupation etc.

We who identify ourselves as Catholic
Know that we can only
find our meaning
and our purpose
and our goal or destiny in life and words of Jesus Christ

We believe
That Jesus is or has the answer to all life’s questions.
Every single question is found in Christ in every age in every circumstance.

What am I supposed to do with my life?
How am I supposed to act?
What should I sacrifice for or work for
What will I leave behind?

We believe that the answers to these important questions
Can only be found through our faith in the Son of Man.

As it says in today’s passage from the Gospel
“All power on heaven and earth has been given to me”
All power on heaven and earth.
In other words
All meaning and all purpose.
All hope

Today’s Gospel pointedly reminds us that
Our faith is not only for us
Our faith is not something between us and God
Many eastern religions go in that direction
Everyone’s goal is to find their own answers

Followers of Christ look at faith so differently
Not only are we to find God’s answers for ourselves
But we are called to help other people find God’s answers

I’ve been meditating a lot on this of late.
At the final judgment
Is it possible for a good holy person to stand in front of God by him or herself?
It is possible for a good person to arrive at the gate of heaven
not having helped anyone else get there ?

Yes We will all be judged on our own merit
But if we live good lives
Holy lives
Generous lives
Faithful lives
Someone should be standing behind us
A person who only thinks of themselves
and their own spiritual growth
And their relationship with God
Hasn’t really found God at all.

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

The command is so clear.
so real
And so challenging.

Finally Jesus promises us his presence
He reminds us that as we answer our questions and
Help others to do so

It is impossible for us to be alone

“I am with you always until the end of time.”

He is with us in his word
He is with us in his Church
He is with us in each other
He is with us in the sacraments
He is with us when we are good
When we are bad
He is with us when we succeed and
When we fail
He is with us when we are strong and healthy
He is with us when we are weak and broken and discouraged
He is with us when we face final exams
In our journey we are never alone

And so you see holy ones…
As always this gospel challenges us in several ways

Are we living thoughtful lives
Do we ever take the time to reflect?
Do we ever take the time to ask the questions which are written on our hearts?
Do we simply go through life?
Living life on the surface never really thinking about the meaning
of our actions.
Our hopes,
And our dreams.

Is our life so filled with noise and busyness that God and
God’s purpose in our lives is drowned out.

Are people better because they know us
Who have we helped grow in their faith
Who have we brought to Mass ?
Who have we brought to faith?
Are our roommates better people because of our quiet influence and example?

Can we say that we are living good lives,
Holy lives,
If no one is helped by our example?

Finally are we are of God’s presence
In our lives?

Do we seek it?
Do we work to experience it?
In each other
In God’s creation
And most specifically in
The Church in the sacraments?

We are all blessed here
The faith life on this campus is so present for those who participate in it

I’m awe of your faith your example
As we leave our campus
And our packed Masses
And Praise and worship Adoration
And our Renew Groups
And our service experiences

As we return to our Parishes,
And our families,
And our High School friends.

Let us never forget God’s call

God’s great commissioning
Go and make disciples of all (men and women)

The responsibility is great
The commissioning is clear.

Have a great summer everyone.
Keep in touch and we will surely miss you
starting in July (just kidding)

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