Seeing the Risen Christ

April 19, Luke 24: 35-48  “Seeing the Risen Christ”

Edward Schillebeecks says that “one sees the risen Jesus when one has faith in the risen Jesus.”  

I received an email yesterday from an old friend, whom I met in 1995, one of the street kids, and whom I gave  care to. He thanked me for feeding him, giving him a place to stay, and being there for him.  He is out of hustling, and street life, but remains depressed, and can not have intimacy as a result of his experience. In him I see the risen Christ. He is still broken, but in his journey he has found hope to continue.

Yesterday a middle aged gentleman talked to me about wanting to die since he was 15. He is fifty now, and makes it minute by minute. I see the risen Christ in him as we work together. 

I have talked about depression, and I have received replies of “comfort”, and the reality is depression for me is a necessity for growth. In the depression I sort out what is real, it is me descending into hell,  and from it resurrection comes.  It is not something that can be “fixed”, but it is a growth process that I simply embrace. We are given “eternal life” now–I have no idea what happens when we  die, but eternal life is  to live in Christ’s presence in the here and now, and in that eternity to find meaning and purpose to existence, and in what we do.

It is the way in which we treat our neighbor that we truly experience eternal life, and show our belief and hope in that life. People often asked me when I “take off”, and the reality is I get away to rest, but I am never “off” for any where I go–to LA, Sacramento, Albuquerque, Palm Springs–I always run into someone who is homeless–and I will take time to talk and feed them.  Eternal life is not about placing our actions, and our time in compartments–but about living it out wherever we are. The first thing that I do every morning is to celebrate the Eucharist, and it is in that broken bread and poured wine that Christ comes offering eternal life in the here and now.

My friend Will Tuttle writes of veganism which for me is a good summary of eternal life:  “We are all in this together. The vegan revolution will never include violence; it is a celebration of the joy and beauty of life, and an awakening to the beauty and potential of our shared life on this planet. The only strategy for each of us is how to love and give more deeply, fully, and authentically, and in harmony with our unique talents and gifts. Together, we are transforming our world!”

Whether you are a vegan, a carnivore, a vegetarian or you do not eat at all–eternal life is to give of ourselves  more fully and deeply–in the aches, pains, joys and sorrows of life–and in so doing we experience much joy. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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