We are reminded in today’s Gospel that a new era truly began with the resurrection of Jesus. Yes, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, and we try to figure out how to move forward as individuals, families, communities, businesses, nation states, and even as a world community, we are invited to recall, and live out of, a special intimacy that dawned with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God.
We all want others we care about to understand those who are, and have been, the most important influences in our lives. Today, Jesus also wants his disciples to understand his Father and our Father. Jesus, our brother, prays with us to the Father. Our shared prayer with Jesus can be charged with the Spirit of God, and free from our own self-interest, when Jesus, and His way, truth and life, have truly penetrated our sometimes-hardened hearts and closed minds. When that happens, Jesus actually leads and directs our words and deeds. When that happens, we live in the presence of the Risen Christ.
Our prayer can be become more confident and less self-centered because in the presence of the Risen Christ we discover a self-emptying love that is so often absent from our lives, and strangely enough, in this self-emptying love, we find our joy.
In the presence of Christ, driven and directed by the Spirit of God, we focus on what he taught, we think of the ways he loved, and this helps us pray with more love in our own hearts and in deeper communion with Jesus. In that interior shared space with Jesus, we can ask God for whatever we want because God loves us, because we have loved the one he sent, the gift of God’s self to God’s people. We can ask for what we want and we too can become gifts of God to God’s beautiful world and God’s beautiful people and we can share more fully in the life and love of our beautiful God. There, we too can sing:
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
And I’m feeling good
I’m feeling good