The Sunday Project
Why are you watching the sky?
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord |
In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? 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.”
Brothers and sisters: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
"Why are you watching the sky?”
Well this 23 year old toddler felt a little called out by that. Our calling and our duty as witness to the resurrection and ascension is to not watch the clouds roll by but to let that light into every action. This is not a call to the street corners, or to congress, or to the Vatican. This is a call to the present moment… simply put, a call to love. We do not have the luxury of being back row Catholics sliding in and out of our circles of life. No, we must bring all of ourselves to every action and; although with prudence, impenitently live in a manner worthy of the call we have received by our unique formation.
We do this not for attention but so that eventually living life as a queer catholic is not worthy of attention. That eventually living the life Christ intends is normal. Eventually a kid need not go through his puberty in tears crippled by fears that he somehow messed up his life.
However, we are not called to the ‘eventually’, to the future. We are called to live in the present. God is omnipresent. God is love.
“God is love”
That phrase has been assimilated to the point it has almost lost its sacred meaning and wonderful simplicity. It now echoes as an empty cheer in a fake praise and worship adoration night. Wounds like a jaunt in a desolate church basement talk, and falls shorts of a proper explanation in a whiskey induced late night fight when you tell a friend you have come to love another guy…both using it as a balm to the wound the other inflicted.
God is love but he left the apostles. Christ is literally love incarcerate but he left them, knowing it would hurt. Love isn’t easy but it is simple. God is love but he flipped tables and pissed people off doing what was right even thought it was not understood. Love is abstruse to the world but it is simple.God is love and he snuggled his best friend and held him close to his heart. Love is challenging and it is simple
God is love and I am formed in his image.
“I gave them your word and the world hated them because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world."
The world may not understand the struggle and pain that has brought you here, but Christ does, So snuggle into him. The world may not understand the goodness that radiates from your soul, but Christ does. So dance in the light of his wildfire, the world may no understand that sexuality is more than whom you get it up for, but Christ does, so be unapologetically audacious and beautifully bold.
You have been formed with intention and with purpose. No part of you is an accident. No part of you is a fluke, every part of you was whispered into existence in a voice dripping with love and desire and passion.
We all sit a wide circle and perceive him like an infinitely faceted diamond. Only you see the diamond from your perspective. So too only you can live the unique call to love that is inscribed in your soul,
Our call is just as simple..
To wonder at the present moment
To be where our feet are,
To be the best human we can be
Because we are nothing more or less than a beloved children of God with a call to
Simply boldly love.