When I was little I used to think that Christ was with me...but only when I was doing something good or only in holy or sacred places. Oh how wrong I was! In today’s Gospel Jesus tries to help his disciples understand that no matter what they “feel”….no matter where they go, he will be with them…and even more….the Holy Spirit will be given to them and find a resting place within them. We are the inheritors of this same promise. We are never alone, never abandoned! Our God is always with us, even when we can’t feel that presence or sense it…God is with us. Even in the midst of our worst moments, our most selfish actions…even in the midst of our greatest sin…God is present and loving us through that dark moment. And of course that means that God too is present in and with “the other” in their worst moments, in the midst of their most selfish actions! God’s presence is not dependent on our actions, we do not control God’s presence! No matter how desperate our situation is, God is with us…loving us in the midst of it all.
The real question then seems to be…so what will my response to that loving presence be? How do I respond to “the other”, who also, is so deeply and passionately loved by God? How do I share God’s love with the immigrant, the refugee, the marginalized, the one who is hated and despised because of the color of their skin? How do I share God’s amazing love with the one who is “other” to me? What is the Holy Spirit calling me to…or away from?