Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
"The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork." Psalm 19:2
When I was a senior in college I had a wonderful experience of God’s presence. I was in Newport, Oregon with my roommate and we were walking across the Yaquina Bay Bridge. It was well past midnight, so there was no traffic. I walked out into the middle of the bridge and looked down on the sleeping town below me. The bridge is elevated way above the bay and I was standing on this huge stage where I was the star. I felt larger than life! The whole world lay before me. They were the peons and I was all-powerful and important!
Then I turned around to face the ocean… and everything changed. Now I was the peon, or an ant in the picture, as the expanse of the night sky rose above me and the ocean stretched forever out in front of me. It was beautiful and huge and there were a billion stars flung across the sky. . . and now I was a tiny speck in the scheme of things. I felt the glory and power and majesty of God. It made me feel so tiny and insignificant, I turned back around to feel big again!
When I turned back again to face the ocean, I thought of this scripture: "When I behold your heavens . . . The moon and the stars which you set in place – what is man that you should think highly of him or the son of man that you should care for him? Yet you have made him little less than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor." (Psalm 8:4-6) As I stood there looking into the vast universe, I was overwhelmed with God’s love because even though we are so small and seemingly insignificant, we are precious to God. We are not a tiny speck to Him, we are His crowning creation, and He is crazy about each one of us!
As we see in today’s first reading, we have a God who sent His only Son to save us, and just as he appeared to 500 after his resurrection, He wants to appear to each of us. May we keep our hearts and minds open to experiencing his personal love for us – especially as we walk through these glorious days of Easter.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Janice also leads women’s retreats and recently wrote her first book: God Speaks to Ordinary People – Like You and Me. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicecarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected].