Tag Archives: science

Gospel Reflection for June 2, 2019, Ascension

29 May

Gospel Reflection for June 2, 2019, Ascension

Sunday Readings: Acts 1.1-11; Ephesians 1.17-23; Luke 24.46-53

Jesus spoke to this disciples, “Thus it is written that the messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are the witnesses of these things.”  – Luke 24.48

In the cosmology of Jesus’ time, God and the heavens were up and human begins and Earth were below. Our 2,000-year old gospel tells the story of Jesus’ return to God is to go to the heavens. Today humans ride the clouds regularly in planes. Thee Hubble telescope captures the spidery webs of light from other galaxies. The Church that in the 16th century suppressed Galileo’s proofs that Earth revolved around the sun today welcomes the work of scientists as they expand the edge of mystery in space and in matter.

In returning to God, the risen Jesus takes with him the human nature assumed in his incarnation. Jesus is about embodied divinity. Jesus remains God incarnate. One of us humans is with God. Jesus is the first born of a new humanity that shares life with God. Jesus goes ahead of us toward the consummation of all in God. We hunger for lasting communion with our loved ones.

In the ascension Jesus passes over into communion with God, bridging the human and divine. He blesses his company of disciples upon whom he promises to send the Holy Spirit to animate their witness to the world.

How does science affect your faith? How do you imagine communion in God?


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Wonder

15 Jan
Photo via Flickr user Waiting For The Word

Photo via Flickr user Waiting For The Word

The characters in Jesus’ story who have captured my imagination this week are the wise men, or magi, or kings. We think if these men as learned and wealthy, that with their titles and expensive gifts. They are not the type of folks we typically imagine packing up their things at the sight of a star to head off to the unknown hoping to meet a new king. Yet this is exactly what they do.

These men were clearly waiting for a Messiah and hoping he would come soon. Their hope and excitement urged them to take a chance on this particular star.

What was it about this star they saw that convinced them to pack up and take a quest? Are they foolish or brilliant? Did other men scoff at them, sighting reason and logic that so often override our wonder and awe?

We so often make the mistake of replacing wonder with knowledge. We pit science and religion against each other. We see God getting smaller instead of bigger as we learn more about the universe. Yet we are living in an exciting age where science is re-embracing wonder. We are curious about multiple universes and admitting the more we know the more we realize we don’t know. We are embracing wonder as the beginning of wisdom.

I think these men have something to teach me. They are inviting me back to a place of wonder where I can encounter God. Their journey to pay tribute to this baby shows humility, wonder, openness, and hope that I want to embody in my faith life. They show the lengths they are willing to travel, literally, to encounter God. In addition to keeping their noses in their books, they also turn their faces to the sky, recognizing that faith requires both our intellect and our wonder, our ideas and our willingness to be in authentic relationship. They understand that part of worshipping God entails taking risks and venturing into the unknown. They know they are on a sacred journey and remind me that I am, too.

 

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