God’s Presence

c. J. P. Mahon, 2013

c. J. P. Mahon, 2013

The Lectionary Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter assure us of God’s care. In Acts, Peter does the extraordinary—he raises Dorcas from the dead. Yet, we are more likely to encounter the Divine in the ordinariness of our lives. Yes, there are peak moments but after the Easter alleluias subside and spring is working toward summer, life often is rather ordinary.

Luis Rodrigues, SJ, writing in the Creighton Daily Reflection, urges us to seek God in the ordinary. We can only do this if we are aware of God’s ever-caring presence to us and for us. (http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/042013.html)

Richard Rohr teaches that creation is the primary revelation of God. God’s manifestation in creation speaks of the Cosmic Christ present to all of creation long before any scriptures were ever written:

Two thousand years ago was the human incarnation of God in Jesus, but before that there was the first and original incarnation through light, water, land, sun, moon, stars, plants, trees, fruit, birds, serpents, cattle, fish, and “every kind of wild beast” according to our own creation story (Genesis 1:3-25). This was the “Cosmic Christ” through which God has “let us know the mystery of his purpose, the hidden plan he so kindly made from the beginning in Christ” (Ephesians 1:9). Christ is not Jesus’ last name, but the title for his life’s purpose.

God is present in the noisy flight of the dove, the stare of the deer, the repose of the white pelican, and the squawk of the flying sand cranes. God is present in the ordinary and in the spectacular sunrise and sunset.

The Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkin’s praises God’s glory:

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Today’s readings remind us that God is always present to us:

For this reason they are before the throne of God,

and worship him day and night within his temple,

and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.

They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;

the sun will not strike them,

nor any scorching heat;

for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,

and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,

and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Rev. 7)

Psalm 23 assures us that we have a Good Shepherd who is with us in thick and thin, in joy and sorrow, in delight and pain. God is ever leading us to the feast of life—the banquet he prepares for us daily. Some days we munch on hamburgers and on others we delight in the choicest meats and finest wines.

The Risen Christ is always giving us eternal life, which is life in abundance NOW. In John 10:10, Jesus assures us that he has comes that “we might have life and everything that we need.”

My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. (Jn 10)

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