Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blog # 222 Presence of Jesus

Blog # 222 Presence of Jesus Years ago when ever I used to visit one of my brothers out on Long Island he would remind me I was talking too fast for many people to understand what I would be saying, and he was right. On one particular visit he reminded me again. Right then, on the spur of the moment he recited from memory the well known poem of Joseph Mary Plunkett in a slow and deliberate pace and then suggested that I begin to speak at about the same rate of speed he was using in his recitation of the poem. I memorized the poem and tried to follow his suggestion. I think it worked to some extent but I am still conscious of talking too fast and keep trying to slow down. In the process of using the poem to help me slow down when I am speaking, I found it equally helpful in reminding me of a most important element of our faith that we tend to overlook or fail to appreciate in a practical way. Though Jesus gained His human identity as one of us in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God a little more than two thousand years ago, He did not in the experience of the Incarnation lose the eternal divine identity He enjoyed before time began in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the Holy Trinity. Nor did He lose His identity as one of us in the glory of the Resurrection. As one of us Jesus shared our human limitations. For a brief period of about thirty years He spoke a certain number of words, saw a certain number of sunsets, flowers, and animals, read a certain number of pages of the Scripture, and prayed a certain number of prayers, all in accordance with the will of the Father for Him. "The One who sent me is with me. He has not deserted me since I always do what pleases him." (Jn 8: 29). His physical death on Calvary, as our physical death should be, wherever, whenever, or however it shall occur, was the expression and witness to His unconditional human trust and total love of the Father. He had given all that He possessed. "Now it is finished." (Jn 19:30) It was the experience and the moment of His greatest glory, His greatest love. ( cf. Jn 17 :5). It was the human-divine experience that won for Him and through Him for us the eternal life He kept holding up for us as the goal of our existence here on earth in preparation for the glory of our eternal life in Heaven. His mission here on earth is continued now in us, in the mission we receive from Him by faith through Baptism. (Jn 17:18,26; Mat 28: 18-20). Jesus as the Savior of all mankind continues His saving mission of sanctifying our world and freeing us from sin in union with the Father and the Spirit until the end of time. John concludes the powerful prayer of Jesus to the Father on behalf of unity among those who believe in Him as their Savior with these words: "To them I have revealed your name, and I will continue to reveal it so that your love for me may live in them, and I may live in them." (Jn 17: 26). In sharing the poem with you I hope it will be the blessing for you as it has been for me. You may not need it to help you talk more slowly as it did for me, but it might be a blessing for you in time of loneliness or temptation of one kind or another. You might even want to memorize it and use it from time to time as an expression of your faith and trust in Jesus and as an act of thanks for all that he has done for us as our Savior and our God. I see His blood upon the rose And in the stars the glory of His eyes, His body gleams amid the eternal snows. His tears fall from the skies. I see His face in every flower. The thunder and the singing of the birds Are but His voice - - and carven by His power Rocks are His written words. All pathways by His feet are worn, His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea, His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn, His cross is every tree.

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