The month of May is a busy time:
Family gatherings on Memorial Day.
May is a busy month on everyone’s calendar.
The grass turns green, the weather turns nice
and the weekends fill up.
And we realize how much we don’t want to miss any of it.
We want to “hang on” to as much as life as possible.
And so did the apostles.
Today, they stand perplexed, looking up into heaven:
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand here staring up into the sky…?”
The apostles don’t want to let go.
It’s only natural.
It’s only human.
And neither do we wish to let go
of that which connects us
to that which gives meaning and purpose to our lives.
So, what do we do?
Well, graduates put on caps and gowns.
Parents dress 7-year-olds in white veils and bow ties.
Relatives take lots of pictures
and godparents give presents.
But, in the end, there’s only one gift that counts.
The gift of the Spirit.
Unless we move beyond physical dimensions
and into spiritual realities,
we miss the Holy Spirit
who fires and animates the very life
that we try so hard to grab in our hands
and control with our plans.
In St. Paul’s Letter to Ephesians, he writes:
Preserve the unity of the Spirit…
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.
Fortunately, our sacramental training
helps us “see” just how intricately and intimately the Holy Spirit
works within the body of believers,
displaying the divine Presence
that we may bear witness to the wonders of God
to the ends of the earth.
This wondrous dynamic unfolds within each sacrament:
at the Eucharist, we physically see bread and wine yet,
spiritually, we behold the Body and Blood of Christ;
at Baptism, we see baptismal water
splashed upon an infant’s skin yet, spiritually,
we behold the amniotic fluid of the Spirit.
The same spiritual dynamic can infuse all of life,
from special occasions to the most ordinary of days,
enabling us to grasp with appreciation
what we might otherwise grasp in desperation:
the very God in whom we live and move and have our being!
The mysterious messengers in today’s first reading
remind the disciples that
there is no need to gaze into the sky.
Indeed, in the wondrous life of the Spirit,
there is no need…to miss a thing!