Daily Reflection – 5/30/19
And Jesus said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the Temple praising God.( Luke 24:46-53)
This Gospel speaks of our human dynamic. Jesus’ words, his stories, are always born from the situation of those he has before him. Jesus always responds to what those around him are living. His starting point is inevitably: humanity.
Our human dynamic becomes spiritual the moment we become the place we find God. In this sense, our humanity has always been spiritual. God has been in contact with our humanity from the moment he created it in Adam, right up to the moment that Jesus assumed this flesh, rendering the union between flesh and spirit – between God and humanity – forever unbreakable.
If we look within ourselves without the aid of the loving gaze of another person we risk being crushed under the weight of our failures. If we stare into our own hearts, completely alone, we risk becoming trapped in the space between what we are and the judgment of ourselves.
We need the eyes of another to free us from this cave, to heal us with the tenderness of their gaze. This is the experience of faith that allows our simple human sight to open to hope. The experience of faith is the encounter with the Other that loves, and continues to love, my humanity.
But there is one other aspect that needs to be expressed. This passage from the Gospel of Luke also describes the experience of faith as a great liturgy that accompanies and transforms our lives. It’s no surprise that some texts end with an “amen.”
Life is indeed a liturgy that begins with the proclamation of a word that is revealed to us: thus it is written. No matter how superficial and distracted we may be in the frenetic confusion of our lives, we are the recipients of a message. Someone never ceases to tell us that he has given, and will continue to give, his life for us.
I will never deserve it, but Christ dies so that I may live, so that my live may be without end, eternal. This is mercy: to have the experience of being forgiven while still in my sin. This is the good news for mankind and the heart of our faith: my sin will not carry me to eternal death.
This liturgy of life ends and does not end, it finishes but remains open: the Lord blesses this action and, in the Gospel of Luke, the disciples respond and welcome this blessing by prostrating themselves before Jesus. But at the same time they return to Jerusalem and are always in the Temple, that is, they enter into a permanent praise of the Lord. For he who has experienced forgiveness in his own life, life must become a everlasting praise. And it is precisely this praise, this life as praise, that becomes a testimony. Amen, therefore. Let our lives be such.
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, through the gift of your Holy Spirit, you fill us with an indomitable spirit of praise and joy which no earthly trial can subdue. Fill me with your resurrection joy and help me to live a life of praise and thanksgiving for your glory. May I witness to those around me the joy of the gospel and the reality of your resurrection.”
God’s love and gift of salvation is not reserved for a few or for one nation alone, but it is for the whole world – for all who will accept it. The gospel is the power of God, the power to release people from their burden of guilt, sin, and oppression, and the power to heal, restore, and make us whole. Do you believe in the power of the gospel? If so, then bring the gospel alive in your life!