Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20
In today’s Gospel, Jesus acts like the welcoming host: when the eleven doubting disciples worship him, he draws closer to them. He accepts them and draws them into his mission, never pressing their doubts.
What sort of host is he? When Jesus ascends to the Father, he appears to abandon our space. Yet he claimed, I am with you always even to the end of the age. If he is no longer limited by the physical space his mortal body once occupied, he can now grant us a sacred place that allows us to enjoy his hospitality. The heavenly Father he now joins, originates that place which is described by relationship, rather than defined by dimensions.
Here is the Mystery of God who, like Jesus, is a welcoming host, coming down to meet us at our level. In Jesus, who is also that place, God encounters us in the Scriptures, in the depths of our prayer, in the sacraments, in our faith, even in our doubts.
Such a God, who pours out his Life to be our life, who is the Son; such a Son who reflects completely the Father; such a self-emptying Love, who is the Holy Spirit, is an hospitable God indeed.
This God had called us over incalculable eons, bringing us into being when the time was ripe, to share God’s own life, even at our level. All of creation shares in God’s life, from the blazing archangel to the subatomic wave, each according to its capacity.
Such a God could never settle for a self-absorbed existence; even God’s interior life is so abundant and extravagantly hospitable that we speak of Deity as three Persons, harmoniously one God.
For us, it’s not so easy to live with one another, is it? Especially when we try hard to make it work! That’s our mystery. Our tragedy is how much suffering it takes before we admit defeat! But once we do, isn’t there someone drawing closer, side-stepping our doubts, willing to work with us, work through the people around us, to take us deeper into his mission?