Short Homily – Sunday after Ascension Day

It’s difficult to try to imagine the thoughts of the apostles at Christ’s departure from them. He was leaving them but they remembered His words, “I will be with you always.”

So often, although we know & remember these words, we still have difficulty in accepting them – and we feel that we’ve been left alone to cope with all life has to throw against us.

This brings me to this story for this Sunday after the Ascension.

One evening, a father who lived in suburb of London, said to his 10-year-old son, “I want you to join me at my office next week. We’ll take the subway and you can spend some time seeing how I spend my day. Then you’ll come home by yourself so you can get acquainted with travelling by the Tube.” The boy was a bit apprehensive about the prospect of coming home alone but his father assured him he would be fine.

On the morning they left, his father explained all the details of the trip to Town and gave him a written, detailed set of instructions for returning. After boarding the Tube train, his father showed him the maps posted in the carriages which identified all the stops and all the intersecting Underground lines.

Everything went smoothly and they arrived in the centre of London as planned. However, the young lad was still apprehensive as his father took him back to the station for the return trip home. He had the instructions, he had his father’s assurance he would do fine but he still worried.

As he waved goodbye to his father and boarded the train, he immediately checked out the map of the Tube line on the opposite wall of the carriage where he was sitting. Sure enough, all the stops were outlined. He got off at the correct station and, just as his father had shown him, found his way to another platform where another Tube line passed through, and, as his Dad had promised a train soon pulled in.  He boarded and as he again studied the map he was relieved to see that his “home” station was just 6 stops away. Now, he felt more confident. When the train approached his station, he got up, stood in from of the exit door and when it opened he breathed a sigh of relief … he had made it.

His mother was there to meet him.  She hugged him, and to his surprise, she then put her arms around a man who was immediately behind him in the exit queue.  It was his Dad!  His father had been in the carriage behind his all the way.   His father had been with him all the time. There had never been any need to worry. His father took his arm and aid, “Son, you know I will always be with you when you need me.” As he locked arms with his mother and father, a very confident, happy young man knew he was surrounded by those who loved him.

Those who are parents can relate very easily with the father of the young boy. Who would ever leave a child unprotected? If we feel that way, don’t you think Christ is even more committed to our well being.

I think it’s very important for all of us to understand that no matter what the problem may be, no matter what the circumstances, Christ has promised He will help us.

Jesus performed His first miracle changing water into wine, not because of some earth shaking situation, but merely because a young Jewish couple would be embarrassed if their guests knew they could not afford enough wine. He fed 5000 people even though His apostles told Him, “We can’t help these people.” He was there when Lazarus died, when Peter was sinking into the lake and He will be there for us when we need Him.

As it was in every one of these situations, Christ expects that we believe, that we have faith and that we put that faith into action. The father asked his son to take specific actions: check his directions, find the maps, change to the proper train, get off at the right stop. The little boy didn’t know it but there was no possibility of his making a mistake or getting lost. His father was with him during the entire trip. So, Christ is with us.

Our journey through life may at times seem hard and the road may seem rough and long and twisting and difficult – but he’s with us, and always will be with us, wherever we may travel: a comfort, a guide, a companion and friend: the one who says of himself I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

He travels with us, and he will never desert us….never

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