May 24, 2020: A Reflection for the Feast of the Ascension, Year A

Matthew 28:16-20

Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

“I am with you always,” you proclaim to your disciples as you ascend from their vision, Jesus, and return to the Father. How comforting it must have been to hear you promise to remain with them – and yet how puzzling to wonder how it could be that you would remain with your beloved sisters and brothers until time runs out and yet disappear from their sight with the heavens closing behind you. Gone. Or so it seemed.

Once more you reveal the depths of your heart. It is a relationship of love that you desire to have with each of your beloved children and you pour out your heart at the very last moment of your return to the Father to assure us of your eternal presence in the depths of our being, in the depths of all creation. I am with you always. In the moments of intense joy and intense sorrow. In moments when we feel the insecurity of our humanity, you are there in tenderness and compassion as the rock on which we stand through faith. You take our hand when the road gets rough and journey with us. The beauty of your creation: the stars, the dawns and dusks, the whispers of giant pines and the soft chatter of cottonwoods, all beckon us to rest in your presence. I am with you always…

You are with us always, Jesus, at the heart of all creation, in the heart of each of us, your beloved children. All power in heaven and on earth has been given you. The power of love which holds heaven and earth together in your depths. Help us to yield ourselves into you and to know from the depths that you are with us always. Always. Through thick and thin, good and not so good. You are with us always and you ask us to share your presence in the moments of our daily lives with all whom you send to us and in the circumstances that each day brings. So simple and yet so deep, if we will but let you lead us to your self-sacrificing love which pours itself out on us all and gathers us all together into your heart. You are with us all ways. No matter which way we walk. All our ways lie open to you, the psalms say. Yes, you are with us all ways, even to the end of time. Come walk with us this day and all ways.