MEDITATION TIP —Ascension of Our Lord,
May 21, 2023

“Jesus was lifted up into heaven before their eyes, and a cloud covered him, making him invisible to them.” (Acts 1:9)

 Jesus was with His disciples during their missionary work, but He definitively returned to the Father through His death and resurrection. Jesus now lives in His eternal form. The concept of eternity does not refer to the length of time. It means transcending time and space. However, we think and live within the constraints of time and space.

 Thomas Edison, the master inventor, was a man who was not bound by the concept of time. In his factory, he had a large clock with no long or short hand. When his friend, the automobile magnate Ford, came to visit one day and saw the clock, he asked Edison if a clock had any meaning without hands. Edison replied that time was something we should control, and that we could do nothing if we were influenced by a ready-made time barometer such as a clock. We live within the concept of time, but in his opinion, the 24-hour day is an artificial idea, and we should become the protagonist of time ourselves. He said that we should become the protagonist of time, and then we would be free to spend 36 or 48 hours a day as we pleased. He often said, “Young man, don’t look at the clock.”

 I often refer to this idea of Edison. We live within the concept of time and make plans while watching the clock, but we are unaware that we are slaves to time. Therefore, we make “busy” a status of sorts. We use the expression “I am a very busy person” as a status to show how competent we are. However, “busy” is a common expression for lazy people. If you don’t do what needs to be done today, you will surely be busy tomorrow.” (Tokutomi Soho)

 Doing what needs to be done today and living better transcends the concept of time and allows us to live a 36-, 48-, or 72-hour day. So it doesn’t matter how long or short your life span is. What matters is how intense and fulfilling life is. Jesus ended his life at the young age of 33. Moreover, his missionary work lasted only three years. It was only after he became invisible that his short life sustained his disciples and continues to sustain the Church beyond time and space. “A day is a thousand years before God, and a thousand years is a day” (II Pet. 3:8).

 The belief in creating a prosperous future personally, at home, and in the church and society does not mean much without the belief in creating a prosperous present. Today should always be our best day. This is what Zen teaches, “Every day is a good day,” and Buddhism teaches, “A day is a lifetime.” Life is today, one day at a time, and today is the only thing we can say with certainty is life. Therefore, a time that cannot be conquered here and now cannot be conquered forever. A life that cannot be enjoyed here and now cannot be enjoyed forever. If we do not live a wise life here and now, we cannot live a wise life forever.

      (Contributed by Father Akabae)