After the resurrection and just prior to His ascension, Jesus said to his disciples, “Know that I am with you always”. He then proceeded to disappear into the heavens.
No wonder the disciples were perplexed. He had just told them he would be with them always and then disappeared from sight.
To understand the real meaning of what had been said we need to go back to the day Jesus died. We read in scripture how about the ninth hour Jesus ‘yielded up his spirit’. He breathed his last breath. His body had died as his spirit left him. The Blessed Trinity was reunited in heaven.
As Jesus had promised that he would return, this obviously happened, for there are many stories relating to his reappearance. Interestingly though, as a spirit he chose to be recognised by appearing as the body they knew. He appeared in the locked room where the disciples were gathered and asked Thomas to touch his wounds. He also ate meals with those present. All this was to convince them, and us, he had risen as he said he would.
This was no magic trick, the spirit of Jesus appeared and disappeared as he wanted. It even took the 2 disciples on the way to Emmaus all day to recognise him.
When Jesus said he would be with us always we must assume that he is referring to his presence with us as spirit. If this is true then it is the Blessed Trinity that is with us, for the spirit of Jesus is one with The Father and The Holy Spirit.
How then can we recognise the Blessed Trinity in our lives? Many will point to creation and nature to ‘see’ the hand of God in operation. Others will ‘feel’ the presence of God in their lives at special times. But if our God is with us always, how do we recognise this presence on an on-going basis?
Perhaps we need to realise that God does not control our lives. We do that ourselves. How then does our God give us the constant support we need to assist us in maintaining our control and how do we even know this is happening?
The Father, our creator, gave us life in our mother’s womb. When we entered this world, our life began by our first breath. Our life continues with every breath we take until, as Jesus did, we breathe our last breath and give up our spirit.
Surely then, with every breath we take we should realise it is The Father who is maintaining us as his creation. With the presence of the Father also comes the Spirit of life we have in us. The Holy Spirit that has so many gifts to offer us in maintaining our existence, if we but recognise this presence within us. Jesus, as ‘The Word made flesh’ is also available to nurture and teach us if we reach out to this source of knowledge and understanding.
So, do we travel our pathway of life like the disciples on the road to Emmaus and only recognise Jesus at the end of the day and then realise he has been with us all the time. Or do we recognise our God is true to his word and is with us always with every breath we take?
I’m Peter Mack and That’s how I feel.