From the Pastor's Pen - Quality Control
QUALITY CONTROL — This was the idea I came up with to describe the aim of this part of the Easter Season. The commentators for these Sundays say the Scriptures answer a key question: How can the movement started by Jesus continue in his earthly absence? How does the new community stay true to Jesus without him there? The answer is Quality Control. After Easter Sunday and the following ones proclaimed the Resurrection of Christ, these weeks move the focus into the community of the Risen One, and tell us how to remain faithfully in continuity with him:
First, The Scriptures. the record of the people of God and God's words toward us. We need to be very close to the Scriptures. We do it here at church and uniquely at home; even more than a lot of our beloved prayers and devotions, we need to look some of the time for direct words of Jesus, the Gospels, and the words of St. Paul in the Scriptures.
The Sacraments: When we come together here around the Scriptures, around the breaking of bread, at Eucharist, Jesus is uniquely present to strengthen and form us. Remember that on Easter Sunday the two men walking the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize Jesus with them. They said, “we recognized him when we stopped and he broke the bread with us”. So we will recognize Jesus being together in the sacraments.
And this all presumes, of course, The Community itself. The Scriptures and the sacraments based on a community, and staying close to the Church, we are close to Christ.
So there you have it: staying within the Christian community, seeking out the Scriptures, praying during the sacraments, encountering Jesus there. That’s Quality Control for the new community. This Sunday will emphasize this with the Ascension, as our faith grows even as he physically leaves.
I’m out this weekend on a post-Easter/1st communion break, to landscape and paint. See you at the Festival.