This is in stark contrast to the heart and soul of the meaning and significance of the incarnation. The truth of our God having become “incarnate” (in the flesh) in Jesus means that God is with us...not some remote, disinterested deity watching us from afar.
We need to recall Jesus’ promise “I am with you until the end”! These simple words are most profound...there is no need for us to stand gawking skyward with our jaws hanging open. While the physical presence of Jesus Christ as a singular human and divine presence no longer walks the earth...Christ is here, as close to us as our own breath, keeping us alive to be his presence in our world. We need to recall last Sunday’s Gospel in which Jesus told the disciples that when we keep his word God makes us his dwelling place!
As we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus let us celebrate the presence of the Risen One in our midst! Before his ascension Jesus gave a clear command and mission to his disciples...to us. We are charged with preaching the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and to be that healing, loving and welcoming presence in a world filled with sickness, hatred, violence and exclusion.
Filled with the “real presence” we are sent forth to stand up and be the voice of the voiceless, to speak out on behalf of those who are silenced or ignored, to make sure that hatred, racism, bigotry and misogyny are not left unchecked.
Filled with the Holy Spirit we speak the truth of the Gospel to power, weather convenient or inconvenient, weather garnering us friends or marginalizing us, it is our call as disciples of Jesus Christ!
And in the midst of all of the mass shootings, surely we are called to raise our voices and speak to power and work together for common sense gun control laws that will help to bring an end to all these senseless evil acts by which so many children and adults have been murdered...who would not have been, had the shooter not had such easy access to weapons meant for mass destruction.
While we are surely called to hold in our prayers all of the children and adults who have been killed along with their families and loved ones, we must work together to build the political will to put in place the needed laws and protections to keep this from happening over and over again.
”How might I be a “healing, loving and welcoming presence” in my interactions with others? How can I “stand up” for the Gospel, in the public arena and in my personal life, possibly in connection to gun violence? How do I experience the real presence of God in my daily life?