Solemnity of the
Ascension of the Lord
May 28, 2017
Tuesdays with Morrie
I imagine that many of us have heard of the book “Tuesdays with Morrie.”
It was first published in 1997 and was soon made into a movie. The book has remained well-known.
Tuesdays with Morrie is about a university professor, Doctor Morrie Schwartz, and a Detroit sportswriter, Mitch Albom. Morrie Schwartz had been Mitch Albom’s teacher and mentor at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
In 1994, Doctor Schwartz was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was told that he had a year to live and he decided to do just that – to live his last year to the fullest.
Morrie Schwartz was even interviewed on ABC’s Nightline program. He talked about what he was learning through his illness.
Mitch Albom saw this program and decided to visit his former professor. This was the first of fourteen visits -- all on Tuesdays.
These visits became the content of Mitch Albom’s book, Tuesdays with Morrie.
In these visits, Morrie Schwartz expressed the importance of transcending the violence and hatred in our culture. He reflected on life, suffering, family, marriage, aging, and death.
Naturally, Doctor Schwartz’s perspective was as a man facing his own death. And his reflections brought a whole new perspective to Mitch Albom.
Mitch had been overwhelmed with work and he was desperate for love and meaning. In their last visit, Morrie Schwartz really summed up things.
He said that “As long as we love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without really going away. All the love you created is still there.
“You live on – in the hearts of everyone you have touched or nurtured while you were there. Death ends life [as we know it, but] not a relationship.”
Those reflections of Morrie Schwartz are similar to what we hear from Jesus.
Jesus has taught great lessons to the apostles. He has taught them, above all else, to become loving persons – to love God as God has loved us, and to love one another as we love ourselves.
Jesus sums up all of this as he is about to return to the Father. He then leaves the apostles bodily, physically, visibly.
But Jesus has told the apostles that he will continue to be with them and us through his Holy Spirit. In effect, something similar to what Morrie Schwartz said, Jesus is saying that his ascension or return to the Father ends life as we know it, but not a relationship.
This means that we live with Jesus present within us and he empowers us to live out of this inner center of love. This is how life continues with Jesus.
And, I want to add, this is also how we are to view our living on with a loved one who has died. And on the other hand, it is how we are to look upon our remaining with our loved ones after we have died.