THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD
When are you going to start?
D ear brothers and sisters, as we move from one stage of life to another we are required at some point to let go of past ways and moved on adopting newer ways of life. For example, as infants we had to be carried and fed, as children we had to hold our parents hands as we moved about. As teenagers we tended to be independent and yet we needed guidance and help sometimes. As adults we believe we can manage on our own. Nevertheless in our faith relationship we always need God and cannot manage without Him. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord; we are given a new presence of God within us.
The first reading begins with the first chapter of the book of the Acts of the Apostles, that links the birth of the Church to the moment Jesus is taken up to heaven, reminding us that the Church itself is the new presence of Jesus in our midst. Indeed, the disciples believe that they can manage by themselves relying on their own resources, they are ordered not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father. For us who are used to plan our action, one of the most difficult things is to wait for God to act. If we look at our own experiences, we are always making plans for ourselves and for how God should act in our lives. We even sometimes set deadlines for when God should act in our lives. Our plans usually spin around like: “I”, “me”, and “myself” while God still has more wonderful plans which will unfold if we wait on Him.
In the Gospel we have Jesus bidding farewell to His disciples. He makes them understand the recent happenings and how they fit into the Father’s plan. He opened their minds to understand the scriptures and told them to go into the whole world and proclaimed the Good News to every creature. He told us that the Holy Spirit comes to give us the gift of understanding. The Word of God comes alive and makes sense when we can see how it connects to our life, when we see that it all fits in. However in order to understand we have to stay until we are filled, renewed by the Holy Spirit. Stay here in Jerusalem, in the Church, in your prayer until you are clothed with power of the Holy Spirit. We may have wonderful ideas and plenty of experience and feel that we can manage with what we have. But if we are ready to wait, if we are ready to surrender to the Holy Spirit, something still more wonderful will happen in our life. The Gospel concludes with Jesus was taken up into heaven, withdrawn from His disciples sight and took His seat at the right hand of God. His mission was accomplished, now the mission of His disciples was about to begin. You and I are his disciples. Have you ever started the mission of Jesus by proclaiming the Gospel, by praying, serving, helping and loving our brothers and sisters yet? If you are haven’t start, when are you going to start?
Rev. Dominic Toan Tran
"So then the Lord Jesus,
after He spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took His seat at the right hand of God". Mk 16:19