Archive for May, 2017

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The Ascension of the Lord

May 28, 2017

RISING PAST OUR LONELINESS

The Ascension is most closely related, in meaning, to Christmas, for both are incarnational.  At Christmas, what it means to be God became fully a part of what it means to be human.  In Jesus, the human and divine become united in the person and life of one man.  That’s what happened in Christmas.

At the Ascension, this human being – the person and the resurrected body of Jesus – became for all eternity a part of who God is.  The life of a single human being is forever joined to the life of God the Father, the one who created the heavens and the earth.

It was not the spirit of Jesus or the divine nature of Jesus that ascended to the Father.  It was the resurrected body of Jesus: a body that the disciples had touched, a body that ate and drank with them, a real physical, but gloriously resurrected body, bearing the marks of nails and a spear.  This is what ascended.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Ascension of the Lord (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20)

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6th Sunday of Easter

May 21, 2017

LOVE & PROMISES

Our Gospel today speaks of actions and consequences.  It speaks of love and promises.  But it is our second reading that offers us a path about how we are to love God and one another, and how we are to keep God’s commandments.

John tells us in the Gospel:  If you love me, you will keep my commandments; and you will be sent the Holy Spirit to guide you, because the world will not always understand what you are trying to do, or why you are trying to do it.

Of course, like everything else in the spiritual life, we must be open ourselves to receive the Spirit, which often requires a great amount of trust, and careful attentiveness.  To understand the presence of the Spirit; to understand that we are not alone, requires a particular kind of unlearning and retraining of the senses – which is why we come here.  Here we learn how to see and hear beyond the senses.  Here we train our heart to feel the presence of God.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Acts 8:5-8,14-17; Psalm 66; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21)

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5th Sunday of Easter

May 14, 2017

POLISHED STONES

When I was a teenager, my father decided to build an addition on to our garage so we could keep our boat at home rather than pay for storage.  We had a two-car garage and the plan was to double the size of it by putting an addition onto the back allowing for two cars, then a boat and another car along with room for the tools.

My parents have since moved from my childhood home and movers, at the time, commented that it was the only move they could remember where there was more in the garage than the house itself!

In any case, because garage addition was going to pass over a utility line, my father didn’t want to pour concrete.  Instead he wanted to lay cobblestones so that they could be removed if they ever had to be without destroying the entire floor.

Now you may remember, my father is an engineer, so this isn’t simply a matter of throwing stones down on the ground and moving along.  Especially because this floor would support vehicles, it had to be just right.  So for weeks, he enlisted my help as we leveled the floor and then on our hands and knees, equipped with levels, toothbrushes and funnels, we proceeded to create a stone floor that would rival the pyramids!

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12)

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4th Sunday of Easter

May 7, 2017

A VOICE BEYOND WORDS

There is a saying I have always loved:  God has no grandchildren.  In other words, you do not enter into a relationship with God by virtue of someone else.  You have to come to God on your own terms, in your own way and in your own time.  Try as we may, we cannot do the work of another person’s soul.  Anyone who has ever tried, knows this to be a cardinal truth.

What we can do is create environments for those we love and care about to better hear and listen to the voice of God – to the voice of the Good Shepherd, who is calling us into belonging – into the sheepfold.  This is the hard work of parents, especially.

This work is easier when we are younger since a child is naturally disposed to wonder.  Unlike ourselves, children are not nearly aware of the past or the future – they do not harbour grudges or carry the baggage of regret; they do not worry about what may or may not happen as a consequence of what action we may or may not decide to take.  Rather, our children teach us how to be present.  They teach us how to live in a moment aware of all that moment offers – and in doing so, they demand our attention so we may not miss it.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Acts 2:14,36-41; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10)