Friday, May 10, 2013

Remembering Who We Are

We share excerpts from Father Luke’s homily for Ascension Thursday.

A surgeon named Shawn from Nebraska, who participated in the marathon in Boston, had crossed the finish line seconds before the first bomb exploded.  He said, “When the bombs started to explode, I instinctively ran away from them, but then I stopped and turned back because I remembered who I am and ran to the first aid tents to  care for the wounded.” 

His statement is a summary of the Christian way of life: the passage from the darkness of being controlled by our instinctual passions to the light of  living in Truth and Love.  I don't know if he is a Christian, perhaps he doesn't know it either.  Yet, there is no one who acts outside the redemption won for us all by Jesus Christ.  “I remembered who I am.”  Sure, Shawn was talking about the fact that he is a doctor, but on a deeper level he was talking about the fact of his shared humanity: all of us redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

We are made in the image and likeness of God, and all of us here in this  Church have been baptized into Christ and put on Christ.  Baptism is our incorporation into a real body, the body of which the exalted Christ is the Head.  This is the Church, the Body of Christ.  When we remember who we are, created and re-created in Christ the perfect Image of God, we put on the mind and heart of Jesus Christ who is seated at God's right hand by virtue of the mystery of the Ascension that we are celebrating.  When we remember who we are, we ascend with Christ even as we descend in reaching down to help a fallen brother or sister.

Father Luke consults with Brother Francis before Mass in this photograph by Brother Brian.