Jesus is with us

| Father Terry Beeson | May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

I could not wait to be an adult. I could not wait to be on my own. It wasn’t that I did not love my parents. In fact, I love them very dearly. But I am very much the individual wanting to explore life on my own.

So, after my first year of college at Moorhead State in Moorhead, at the age of 19, I decided to move away from nearby Fargo, North Dakota, where I grew up, to Minneapolis, with dreams of being a radio broadcaster. I attended Brown Institute, and a couple years later, I had my first radio gig in Carrington, North Dakota. I lasted six weeks and found myself moving back home with my parents. It was not long, though; nine months later I was in the Army. After the Army I moved back to Minneapolis.


Even though I have been away from home most of my adult life, I feel my parents are still a part of my life, that they are with me always. They are with me most tangibly when I go home to Fargo for a visit. But even when I have not seen them for a while, they are still with me. My dad has been dead for over 20 years, but he is still with me, certainly in my physical features. I have his nose and his eyes, the same type of body; the Beeson laugh is his laugh.

But there are other things that were his that are now part of me, like the love of playing golf. Every time I walk the golf course, even though I am playing by myself, I feel he is there with me. Many of the sayings that people hear me say, many of the jokes I tell, originated from him.

We celebrate the feast of the Ascension: Jesus being taken up to heaven and seated at the right hand of the Father. In a sense the Apostles are now on their own. But in the conclusion of Matthew’s Gospel, even while he sends them forth on their own to make disciples of all nations, Jesus says he will be with them always.

In one sense, Jesus entrusted his Gospel to his Apostles. He taught them everything they needed to know. And despite all our trepidations, Jesus trusts that we can continue to carry out the mission of his Gospel.

How is that possible? Well, in the sentimental sense that my dad is with me always, Jesus is with us always. And much like I have taken on many of the characteristics of my dad, we have taken on the characteristics of Jesus Christ, characteristics that identify us as Christians. We have taken on those characteristics ever since our baptism, and those characteristics show in the way we act: through our charity, through the way we make our faith a priority in our lives, through the way our faith gives us a sense of joy, through our unity as members of the Body of Christ.

Jesus is with us in a more tangible way, as well. He is with us as we celebrate the sacraments. Through baptism, the light of Christ dwells within us. Through reconciliation, the healing power of Christ is present to forgive our sins. Through confirmation, Christ is there as we, for the first time, speak for ourselves that we are committed to our Catholic faith. Through ordination, men stand for the first time in persona Christi. Through matrimony, Christ’s covenant with the Church speaks through the grace of the covenantal union of woman and man becoming one flesh. Through the anointing of the sick, Christ’s healing presence is there as we journey through our physical woes.

Through the Eucharist, we truly and profoundly experience Christ’s presence. Every time we celebrate the Mass, we experience with our own eyes, our own ears, our own touch, our own taste the presence of Christ. Word and Eucharist play to all the senses that Christ is present among us.

This Gospel passage brings a great sense of comfort to me. I know that in good times and in bad, whether we are at work or at play, whether we are healthy or sick, Jesus is with us. He is a part of each and every one of us, until the end of time, and for all eternity.

Father Beeson is pastor of St. Pius V in Cannon Falls and St. Joseph in Miesville.

Sunday, May 24
Ascension of the Lord

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Category: Sunday Scriptures