On our own.

“The Ascension of Jesus signals the beginning of the era of the Church. As Jesus leaves the scene (at least in the most obvious sense), he opens the stage for us. What if Caesar, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Churchill were still striding the world stage? No one would have the courage to enter the game. So, Jesus leaves, that we might act in his name and in accord with his spirit.”  Bishop Robert Barron

One of the most compelling aspects of my life since  confirmation a few years ago is how my ears, eyes and heart have been opened.

Whether it is a communion service, mass, daily gospel reflections or thoughts spiritual shared via social media or on the interweb, “things” enter my core in an altogether different fashion.

And  it need not even be some “thing” new to me.  There are passages, homilies and sections of the gospel that I have experienced before, but now come at me from an entirely different trajectory.

Like the above, from Bishop Barron.

Think about it.

Mere mortals, such as Einstein, Lincoln, Churchill and Gandhi had no choice but enjoin their mission and leave this world when their time had come.  Their lot was cast.  And their departure made possible a perch for others.  A set of shoulders sturdy enough to stand upon. Enabling them to see a bigger picture.  So that  they might assume their leg of humanity’s great relay.

But not Jesus.

True, His lot too was cast.  Yet born of the Father, and of the holy spirit, He could have remained. As the living, breathing and being example of life everlasting.

But being the good shepherd He is, that would not have served his flock well.  He knew all along his mission.  What He needed to endure.  Overcome.  And finally become.  All so that we could learn how to be more like Him.

On our own.

To shepherd one another in this life.

On our own.

To love our neighbor as we love Him.

On our own.

And to die unto ourselves.

On our own.

We may aspire to be smart like Albert, honest as Abe,  courageous as Winston and steadfast as Mahatma.  But imagine the consternation, anxiety and fear that would accompany such a pursuit directly in their midst.  The  daunting prospect of measuring up as their contemporaries would stop many such ventures even before they started.

Who would have entered the game?

Now imagine if He was here.

On FB or LinkedIn.  How many of us would comment on His posts, send Him a friend request or “click” to allow Him into our daily news feed?

As Bishop Barron states, with Him in our presence here on earth, “…no one would have the courage to enter the game.”

He knows that all too well.

That would not serve anyone.

And we could never become what He knows in heart we can.

On our own.


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