-Techno problems has 5/29 homily lost in space
-Scriptures for Ascension are at usccb.org
-I am preaching at 4:00pm and 12:30pm
Coming and Going!
In the classic movie the Wizard of Oz, one finds many repeatable statements that might be considered "classics" themselves. This is so true, in my opinion, that I have dubbed the protagonist as "Dorothy the Great of Kansas".
The line of Dorothy's that strikes at the heart of this week's Ascension Mystery is " My, people certainly come and go quickly around here!". Yes, indeed, "coming and going" is a phrase that describes a kind of dynamic interchange. You might see this most vividly If you ever "people watch" at an airport. What you see is the unending chain of farewell and hello, in fact that is the whole point of an airport...coming and going.
The Acts of the Apostles today locates the life of the nascent church in the context of this coming and going. It says that "This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” Going and coming - an intersection in reality - a rendezvous in communion.
Coming and going might be understood theologically as the Paschal Mystery, which we describe as dying and rising. It seems that this mode of interchange is fundamental to the life of God, the communion of the church, and the discipleship we embrace. Check this out.
God comes to us in creation and goes away from us in banishment from the garden. God comes to us in the Exodus and goes away in the wandering of the desert. God comes to us in the Law at Sinai and goes away in idol worship. God comes to us in the promised land and goes away in the exile. God Gomes to us in the Annunciation and goes away in the Passion. God comes to us in the Resurrection and goes away in the Ascension, God comes to us in Pentecost and goes away into the persecuted life of the Church. God comes to us in the Sacraments/Eucharist and goes away through the death to self.
Call me crazy but I see a pattern here. The arrival, the "hello" of God and grace in our lives is purely prelude and preparation for a departure, a loss, an exit, a farewell. Likewise, the perceived farewells in life with God are likewise prelude and preparation for hello, arrival, an entrance, a new and deeper communion in the life of heaven.
At 12:30 Mass we will celebrate this dynamic. The farewell of our two priests. The priesthood is one of these dynamic interchanges by which God comes to us so richly, in the unique presence of "another Christ". All the while (but especially in their departure from us) the priesthood is also an "usher" or an attendant for the household of heaven, leading us in the "farewell" that is this life and entering us into the life with Christ.
How has God come into your life? Beware...it is the first step in the divine dance which is looking for an exit. How has God gone away in your life? Don't despair, you are invited to take the step, enter, welcome!
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!