The Ascension of the Lord
Ephesians 1:17-23 or Hebrews 9:24-28, 10:19-23
"EVERY PARTING IS A FORM OF DEATH, AS EVERY REUNION IS A TYPE OF HEAVEN." – Tryon Edwards
Every type of human parting is difficult, painful, sad. A 5 year old tyke is left by her mom or dad at the kindergarten door…tears….until mom says she’ll be back. A husband and father has to be away from home during the week, the company needs him in a city 4 hours away…tears again, until the weekend comes! The hardest of all…the parting which is death, from dad or mom or spouse, sibling, dear friend. Many, many tears, perhaps a time of depression even, until the words of Jesus ring in one’s heart: "I am the resurrection and the life", or "I tell you most solemnly you will be weeping and wailing, while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy."
In 1984, my cousin Laura developed a condition known as Wilson’s disease….which results in a toxic accumulation of copper in the bloodstream. Thank God, she was able to receive a double-transplant, kidney/liver, which gave her another 14 years of life, fully lived. She resolved to make the most of whatever time she had left and was able to make every family reunion and wedding during that time. After she passed away, while waiting for another liver transplant, her sister Kris asked God to give her some sign Laura was OK.
Kris told us that that same evening, she had a wonderful dream in which Laura was "dancing in the house of Asher" (one of the tribes of Israel). She told us how that dream enabled her to live more fully.
It’s 2010, and we once more approach the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the feast of Pentecost. Like the disciples, we wonder at times when we seem to experience Jesus’ absence more than His presence, whether it be through the terrible oil spill in the Gulf, the shaky world economy or something more personal. " But your sorrow will turn to joy." Not through magic, but by going through the very pain of parting which we think will tear us apart, do we "see" Jesus again. These meetings can be sudden, always peaceful, when we sense the Lord. It can be in the glory of nature, by ourselves, yet most often ’round the Table or other times of prayer with Jesus’ other friends.
Fr. Bob Bovenzi, C.P. is stationed in Houston, Texas.