Christ is Risen!
We have spent 40 days contemplating and participating in Christ’s death. Now we will spend 50 days contemplating how we participate in his resurrection and glory.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus experiences a constant desire to be in communion with the Father in his humanity. As God, Christ was never apart from the Father, but, in his human nature, he suffered the same separation that the rest of us suffer. He felt that separation keenly and longed for it to be over.
After his resurrection, he feels that the time is close when he will ascend to the Father and will be in communion with him even in his human nature. He tells Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb: “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.” He wants her to let go of the earthly body of Jesus so that she can continue in relationship with the Risen Lord. That relationship will be celebrated in the Eucharist, in which she will commune not with the earthly body of Jesus, but with the glorified body of the risen Lord.
What is true for Jesus is true for us as well. He sent his divinizing Spirit to transform us into the body of Christ. Already, we are in communion with the Father, through the Son to whom we have been joined by the Spirit. One day, we will be in perfect union with the Father with our bodies; but, for now, we experience that communion in the Eucharist and in our daily prayer.
We also experience that communion through loving. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God in them. God is found wherever there is love. Through love, we experience the abiding presence of Christ and are joined to him and thus to the Father.
~ Fr. Frank Coady