As I was reflecting on my homily this week I ran across our Holy Father’s Epiphany homily for this year. He was ordaining two priests to the episcopacy and he was reflecting on the wise men. Throughout the homily he mentioned movement; movement of God towards us; movement of the Magi towards truth, towards Jesus; the importance of the Bishop’s role in the journey of the Church and her members. The restlessness we all have when we don’t allow God, allow love to enter our hearts.
Our Church is one of movement, because our Church is one of people, a people who are trying to find their way home; and as such we are constantly learning new things, meeting new people, struggling with new issues, and trying to cope with it all. And because we are human it is very easy, during our journey, to let the strength and the beauty of our faith dissolve to the back of our minds and hearts.
These reflections were one of the reasons that this year’s Feast of the Ascension struck me with the beauty of the liturgical year. Our liturgical year is one of cyclical instruction and worship; cyclical yes, but never nostalgic or reminiscent. The liturgical year continually brings to our minds different aspects of the Faith, to strengthen us and move us forward on our journey.
The feast of the Ascension highlights many aspects of our faith: Christ’s ‘missioning’ the apostles to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” leads them to movement as they: ‘went forth and preached everywhere’. Christ’s ascension into heaven shows mankind their ultimate dignity is nothing less than heaven itself, where with the Angels we are meant to be with God for eternity. The feast instills in us the desire to move forward to attain this God-desired dignity; and it is just one celebration in a year of celebrations!
If we live our lives liturgically we are strengthened, we grow, we move closer to our ultimate meaning as we become more Christ-like. The Church is all about this type of movement and my hope for each of us is that we become the pilgrims that we were intended to be and live our lives within the calendar of faith – and by doing this each of us will move that much closer to God and through us God moves that much closer to those around us.