Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (May 17, 2015)

There is a life to be lived here on earth, and as baptized Christians, you and I are called to a specific kind of life. It is a life that is meant to be outgoing, as we hear in the First Reading and Gospel. It is also a life that has specific personal qualities, which St. Paul describes in the Second Reading: “Live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”

Read those words again, and this time think of the culture we are living in right now. Think of the political culture, the civil and religious cultures. Is there any part of American life that is not affected in one way or another by violent words, thought, and deeds?

In the Gospel, Mark speaks of “venomous serpents, poisons, and demons” and of how it is our responsibly to combat them. What kind of crap slithers into our lives via the Internet, social media, and TV? Why do we allow others to poison our minds and spirits by their divisive and derisive words? Why do we allow out fear of change to close us off to the work of the Spirit, whose only desire is to give us life to the full? Why do black and brown and white cause such vitriolic unthinking anger?

Again, re-read the words of St. Paul above. Remember our Baptism, by which we took on the mission of Christ. Remember the power of the Eucharist, for through the Eucharist the Lord works with us to change our world. You and I don’t have to feed the serpent, concoct the poisons, or commune with demons. We’re bigger and better than that!

Much lovemany prayers!

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