“May we praise God always in word and deed.”
Christ has ascended to heaven and is no longer visible to us. But He is still present through His Body the Church. He feels pain when the Church suffers.
There are two seasons centered on the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. Lent is a time when we recognize the trials and troubles we experience here and now, and we repent of the pain we cause Our Lord. Easter however is a time of praise. We praise the Lord for the great good He has done for us. By ascending with His physical body, he has honored us above the angels. His resurrection and glorification show us the life that will one day be ours.
And so we praise Him by singing Alleluia throughout the Easter season. Alleluia is a song of praise.
It may sometimes seem that we praise God on Sunday when we attend mass, but forget about Him the rest of the week. This is not necessarily so. St. Augustine tells us:
“Provided we do not cease to live a good life, we shall always be praising God. You cease to praise God only when you swerve from justice and from what is pleasing to God. If you never turn aside from the good life, your tongue may be silent but your actions will cry aloud, and God will perceive your intentions; for as our ears hear each other’s voices, so do God’s ears hear our thoughts.”
There was once a man who lived his life in this way. He bore witness to his faith in his thoughts, words, and actions. During a long sea voyage he became violently ill. If you have ever been sea-sick you know that the last thing on your mind is how you can help others. You are so nauseous and withdrawn that the only action that appeals to you is dying, just to get it over with.
While this man lay there in his bunk, he heard that a sailor had fallen overboard. But even in his weakened state his thoughts turned to any way in which he might be of help in saving the sailor. He noticed an oil lamp near him and with great effort he got up, took up the lamp, and held it up to the port-hole of his cabin. It was all he could do to hold it steady for a few moments before collapsing once again into his bunk.
The sailor was saved and when the sick man had recovered his sea-legs, he sought out the sailor. The sailor said he had already gone under the water twice, each time growing weaker. He was about to go down a third time and, he felt, a final time, when he raised his hand. Just at that moment, someone held a light up to a port-hole, the light fell upon the sailor’s hand and a man caught him by the hand and pulled him up onto the lifeboat.
It seemed such a small thing to do, to hold up a light. And yet it saved a man’s life.
May we praise God always in word and deed.
7th Sunday of Easter
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© Lawrence Klimecki
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Deacon Lawrence draws on ancient Christian tradition to create new contemporary art that seeks to connect the physical and the spiritual.. For more information on original art, prints and commissions, Please visit www.DeaconLawrence.org
Lawrence Klimecki, MSA, is a deacon in the Diocese of Sacramento. He is a public speaker, writer, and artist, reflecting on the intersection of art and faith