PRESENCE – the key to Eternal Life
The Family as Domestic Church and as Missionary Disciples
Dear Brother Knights and Families,
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
I stole cookies from the cookie jar! Did you when you were a kid?
I remember mom warning me not to ruin my supper and I obeyed her . . . . . until she left the kitchen. Why did it seem that temptation increased greatly when she left the kitchen? Presence. Temptation is the same for adults. I mean, who would speed if a police cruiser was right behind them on a highway? But so often, drivers are tempted to speed and after looking around for signs of police, (thinking the “coast is clear”), they often chance speeding up. Presence.
On the other hand, mom was nursing nights and slept during the day while we were at school. So I remember coming home from elementary school for lunch. I used to peek into her bedroom and I was totally comforted knowing she was home sound asleep. Then I helped myself to some soup and sandwiches in the kitchen. What was important? Presence. Similarly, if you are in a car accident, you want the police around. Presence.
At times we ignore God’s presence when we are tempted. We are selfish and weak and we sin. But if we could be 100% aware of God’s presence in our lives, how would we live differently? That would be absolutely, fundamentally, radically profound! How would my choices change if I knew Christ was standing right next to me? (The fact is He is right next to me, living in me, surrounding me). I mean, if we can change how we think and act when we are in the presence of others or in God’s presence, why does this demand so much more effort when we think we are alone (cause basically we are never alone)? To think we are alone is a lie. God didn’t leave paradise, but Adam and Eve thought He left when they were tempted and sinned.
When God says, “I Am”, that means He is everywhere. This is important to understand Christ’s Resurrection.
Psalms 139:7-12 (ESV) 7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
We taste of the Resurrection when we experience and welcome the presence of God. To welcome God’s presence is everlasting life. To reject His presence is death and we taste hell. Resurrection from death is not merely to be in the presence of God but to welcome it, to call upon His unconditional mercy and love and forgiveness for rejecting His presence (sin), to accept Jesus voluntarily endured His passion and death and finally Resurrected from the dead. He saved us from our sins so that accepting His great sacrifice, we would know and accept the power of His love and life-giving death and resurrection, without a doubt.
May we, in His presence, endure our daily sufferings and with Him, die to selfishness, so that with Him we experience the fruits of His resurrection, a communion of love, permeating our hearts and minds and souls. We annually celebrate His Resurrection at Easter. Let us experience His Passion, Death, and Resurrection every moment, every day when we love. He is present to us. Be present to Him! Your family will be grateful to you …… eternally grateful.
Most Reverend Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR