The Solemnity Of The Ascension Of The Lord
June 1-2, 2019
Do you remember learning how to ride a bike? First, a person would have explained to you how to do it. They may have ridden the bike as an example. You may have practiced with training wheels, but soon they were taken off. Your instructor then ran next to you, holding onto the bicycle while you pedaled and steered. Eventually though you were left to your own devices, to do the best you could with what you had learned. After numerous attempts, resulting in scraped knees and shaken nerves, you succeeded, thereby gaining confidence and venturing boldly ahead.
The Apostles at the Ascension of the Lord must have felt like us riding our bike without help for the first time. Jesus had taught them, showed them, died for them, rose from the dead and appeared to them. All He had said would happen came to pass and they believed. This was the time to take off the training wheels. The confidence and boldness would come to them a short time later on Pentecost with the Holy Spirit. While Christ would always be with them, He would no longer walk among them. Now it was their turn to be ‘Jesus’ on earth.
The evangelist Luke felt this event was so important that he ended the Gospel and began the Acts of the Apostles with it. It is just before the Ascension that the Lord calls the Apostles to be more than His followers. They are called to be leaders and are given the mission to proclaim the Good News to the whole world. As Disciples of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, they will change the world
We have been given that same mission. At Confirmation we were empowered with the gifts of Holy Spirit to accomplish it. So, what are we doing? Are we still living our faith with training wheels? We may be leading a good life; attending mass, giving to the needy, and following the rules. Yet Jesus calls us to be more than a follower. He calls us to be leaders. As His disciples, Christ commissions us to proclaim the Good News to the entire world.
It’s time to take off the training wheels!
Patrick J. Perkins