Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have an honest chat with God, physically, audibly, and tangibly?
Wouldn’t it be so much simpler if we could talk to God like with any other person, and hear a response right away? If we could hang out with Him over coffee, go on a walk with Him, or do anything else together with Him like we would with our friends or family? If we could see Him, hear Him, laugh with Him, give Him hugs?
Why does He have to seem so darned elusive?
If you, like me, have experienced these questions, it may be that you’re having difficulty coping with an Invisible Relationship.
As human beings, we are far more at ease with the visible kind. It seems far easier to interact with and show love to a physical person, present before you – and besides that, it’s so much simpler to remember that they’re present in the first place! How quickly we allow “out of sight” to become “out of mind.”
Why couldn’t He have made it easier on us?
Well… the fact is, in the first place, that in Christ, God did come, in the flesh, physically, to be with us. He did live visibly among His disciples, friends, and family. But it was His will to not remain that way. As He said to His disciples over the Last Supper meal:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16: 7)
It seems that, though God has allowed us to see Him visibly for a time here on earth, He doesn’t see it as the be-all and end-all. His focus is on something greater. And as with all we’ve grown to expect from Him, it’s bound to be both harder – and yet, far better than anything we could ask for or think of (Eph 3:20).
As we approach the Solemnity of the Ascension, let us consider:
Christ both leaves this Earth, and yet at the same time promises, “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). Do we trust in His promise? Do we look for Him and recognize Him in the places He has told us to find Him – in our neighbours (Mt 25:40), in the Church (Acts 8:5), in the Eucharist (Jn 6:53-56)?
The Holy Spirit, and in fact, the entire Holy Trinity, wants to dwell in us, to be closer to us than is physically possible (Jn 14:17, 23). How can we be mindful of God’s invisible presence in us? How can we live in relationship with Him, knowing that He is ever-present? And how can we take care to not take that relationship for granted? How can we prevent our more obvious visible realities from relegating the greater, invisible reality of God’s presence to the margins?
May He ever grow you in the knowledge of His presence, and of the power of the relationship He offers you!
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