REFLECTION FOR 5-24-2020
Oh, that Jesus! He’s always up to something! If he isn’t giving sight to the blind, healing lepers, or turning water into wine; he’s rising from the dead and ascending into heaven. You have to admit, there’s never a dull moment with Jesus around.
And then, there’s the things he says: things like “love your enemies,” “turn the other cheek,” “go forth and make disciples of all nations.” How are we supposed to live up to all this? After all, Jesus is God; but we are just humans. Doesn’t he know that we have jobs that make demands on us, and families to take care of, and pandemics to deal with, and the list goes on and on?
In the readings for the feast of the Ascension, we hear two accounts of Jesus being taken up to heaven after his Resurrections. In the gospel from Matthew, we hear Jesus call us to “go and make disciples of all nations.” In Luke’s account taken from the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus explains how we can fulfill that call to action when he says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.”
Oh, that Jesus! He’s always up to something! So, he’s going to send the Holy Spirit to empower zus! We won’t be just humans anymore! We’ll be like super-heroes and our super-power will be the Holy Spirit! OK, this might just work! But, what do I need to do to be a witness? How do I testify to the truth about Jesus without turning people off?
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” After all, actions speak louder than words. And in today’s readings, Jesus is calling the first disciples and all disciples to action. We are to imitate Jesus and in so doing, we will be witnesses to all that Jesus said and did. And, through the power of the Holy Spirit, people will notice our actions. They will begin to wonder what we are up to. They will become curious about where we get our super-power. They may even begin to imitate us or ask us questions about our odd behavior.
And Jesus will be all smiles!