May 1, 2018
by Chas Kestermeir, S.J.
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 286

Acts 14:19-28
Psalms 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 21
John 14:27-31a

Celebrating Easter

Easter Prayer for Today

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Finding Hope in the Easter Season

Letting Myself Be Reborn

I have often wondered about what Jesus might mean here when He says “You have heard me say 'I go away for a while and I come back to you',” and we might ask, in this Easter season, how the Lord is absent from our lives.  We do not see Him day to day, not with the human face He wore with Joseph and Mary, with His disciples, and with all those He came to love and serve.  We likewise find it hard to see Him in those around us, who too often seem to be unlovable.  We cannot see Him in ourselves: we are too aware of our weaknesses and our distance from God, or maybe we turn a blind eye to that frailty or that loneliness and our arrogant independence does not allow us to even look for Him. 

We might also ask, however, where Jesus is present to us; He did say, after all, “Behold, I am with you all days until the end of this age“ (Matthew 28:20).  We believe that He is with us always in His profound love and constant attention to us as well as in the Eucharist.  Whether we see Him or not, He actually is present to us in those around us in all their weakness and need to be loved: “What you do for the least of my brothers...” (cf. Matthew 25:40).  And that is especially true for each of us: He is more present to us than we are to ourselves.... 

He “comes back” to us most “visibly” as individuals when we die, bringing us suddenly into the fullness of who He has always called us to be, lovingly embracing us as such newborns and introducing us to the unending intimacy of His presence.  He comes to welcome us into the complete realization of the Kingdom, as He has longed to do ever since the Loving Three created us in His image.

He will also “return” to us in that moment described in the last two chapters of Revelation, when our tired and battered old world is restored and returned to us in that New Creation which is Christ Himself.

Jesus has gone to the Father to leave place for us to live now in the Spirit and, in that Spirit, to seek Him, find Him, and love Him in the lives of our brothers and sisters and even in our selves. 

How do we feel about that, and how do we respond? 

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