Our readings for this Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, the Resurrection of the Lord, are here.
These are the poem, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Sunday Mass of:
- May 18, 2014 Cycle A, Noon
The poem Fr Dennis references is:
- Lincoln by David Shumate, a prose-poem, May 18, 2014 Cycle A
In 2014, we reflected on —
- In the gospel, Jesus knows he is leaving again relatively soon but offers some confusing statements when considered in tandem:
- Jesus and the Father are one
- Jesus is going to the Father (which implies distinctness or separation).
- A note of exasperation at Phillip can be detected in Jesus’ words (“Have I been with you for so long a time …?”), but also Phillip’ and Thomas’ expectations for an understanding they perhaps ought to have internalized by now. (That being said — their puzzlement is also a balm to us as we are enamored and struggle with the mystery of the Resurrection nearly 2000 years later!)
- This dialogue and conversation captures the sacred tension between religious structure and the spiritual realm.
|Catechism / Structure||<— Sacred Tension —>||Spiritual Realm / Mysticism|
|What am I supposed to do? Where are we going?||Who am I supposed to be? Who do I follow?|
- Jesus is teaching that by staying with Jesus, the Jesus inside each one of us, we stay close to God and this means that it matters who we’re traveling with (not as a matter of feet and maps) but our intention and focus (Matthew 6:21, also comes to mind)
- with Jesus in our heartswith eyes and ears for Jesus in others
- in prayer and Mass (the actual Presence being given to us anew, each time, for taking into ourselves and taking out into the world).
- The Lincoln prose-poem of David Shumate is set in 1865, describing the man himself and what he had lived through the prior four years (recalling President Lincoln was assassinated on 14 April 1865 at 10:15PM, the country’s first presidential assassination, just five days after the Union received the words of surrender from the Confederacy on 9 April 1865, and several days before the Civil War’s official end). It was not just Lincoln’s words that built community out of great division, but the man himself.
Some rl musings —
- Our image of the post is The Boyhood of Abraham Lincoln by Eastman Johnson (1868). I first learned of it at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) (It rocks! Check it out!). Young Abraham Lincoln is leaning into the only light available to capture the light of the words from one of the only books available to him. His act of hope in the future, a better future for many, is an echo to me of how Jesus himself brought Light into the world, and we need to have that Light inside us and share it and Jesus, as best we can.
- rl – I have vague memories of the folk song, sung by any number of artists, title “Abraham, Martin, and John.” I remember Dad growing quiet, or Mom quietly crying to it or having a social sadness that I wouldn’t understand at the time, but feels all too familiar these days. My horizon of hopes ahead for me personally is, understandably diminishing as I age — both because of my limitations and because I’ve been blessed with so many hopes realized. But it is the thought of what we need to do for our younglings generally, my grandnephew and grandniece or any child to have a full horizon of hope that shakes any melancholy, renews my faith in Christ “who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light,” and sets my sail accordingly to the hope the Resurrection encompasses.