For weeks now, we’ve been reading from Acts of the Apostles about the spread of the good news in the early church. Our responsorial response was “All you nations, praise the Lord”. With your indulgence, I’d like to read a compelling reflection which shows the gospel has spread, in our day and age, even beyond the nations of our world. This was written last Friday by:
Colonel Michael S. Hopkins, U.S. Space Force
NASA Astronaut, Notre Dame Parent
“We all reflect on the Gospel from our own perspectives, informed by our own experiences and situated in our unique places in God’s creation. I have the privilege of reflecting on this passage from the Gospel of John while aboard the International Space Station, orbiting the planet earth once every 90 minutes at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour.
On November 15th, 2020, I launched as the Commander of the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience, and subsequently arrived at the International Space Station where I am serving as Flight Engineer for Expedition 64. This mission has been an amazing opportunity for me to contribute to the shared human endeavor of space exploration and also a profound occasion for personal reflection in my life of faith.
Being in space gives a person the ability to see the world in a unique way. When I see the earth from this vantage point, it’s just breathtaking, and I feel like, when I look down, I see the canvas of God’s creation in all its beauty….God also sees the world from our perspective, through the human eyes of his son, Jesus, who lived among us. Our God does not remain far above us in the heavens; our God comes to us as flesh and blood.
Jesus continues to dwell among us through the gift of his Body and Blood….I was very fortunate to be able to bring the Eucharist with me on this mission, and I receive communion on a weekly basis. Most notably, I received communion before I went out on my space walks to work on the station. For me, it was extremely important to know that Jesus was with me in those situations. His presence helped me step out into space….Can we take the step to embrace this mystery through faith?
Right now, I can see the earth from above and the vastness of space beyond, but I feel the power of this mystery most significantly because the Lord of all creation floats weightlessly in a pyx beside me.”
All you nations, and beyond, praise the Lord.