Seventh Day of the Christmas Octave

In today’s first reading St. John reminds us that this is the “last hour.”  It was the last hour for Fr. Jonah when he died so unexpectedly and suddenly a few days ago, on the feast of St. John the Apostle.  But in the Gospel for today, John writes “In the beginning was the Word”, recalling the first words in the Book of Genesis, “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.”  Even though it is the last hour, we are still at the very beginning of what God wants us to have, eternal life with Him. 

On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo painted God’s creation of Adam. Adam reaches back trying to touch God’s outstretched hand, wanting to feel God’s Presence and walk with Him.  But their fingers don’t quite touch, there’s a gap in between, a kind of absence.  Ever since then, humankind has been reaching out for God’s Presence, seeking God, wanting to feel that electrifying touch with Him.  And we can!

When God created the heavens and the earth He did not abandon it to exist on its own.  In the letter to the Hebrews the author writes that “He sustains all things by his powerful Word.” Without God’s sustaining hand everything would cease to exist.  His hand is holding all things in existence.  His hand is on and in everything. Yes, we can feel God’s Presence in everything we touch.

It’s like this.  When I take hold of one end of a rope that someone else is holding at the other end, and give it a tug, I feel the presence of the person who is also holding the rope tight. Whatever I touch, God is touching and holding in being.  We can experience God’s Presence. We can be in touch with God all day long, just as if Adam and God were holding a rope connecting their hands together.  If God were to let go, Adam would cease to exist.  God is as close to us as our own bodies.  When my right hand touches my left hand, I am touching what God is holding in existence.  As we close this year, and begin a new year, let us resolve to walk in God’s Presence every day, feeling His comforting presence in everything we touch.