The Ascension of the Lord
When I was in Catholic elementary school, I was fascinated by paintings of the Ascension showing the apostles standing there looking up at the sky as Jesus ascended into heaven. Two angels appeared and said, “Men of Galilee why are you standing there looking at the sky.” Our teachers usually told us we needed to get busy showing love to others through kind deeds and treating each other with respect. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus promises that he will always be with us. Do you and I really believe and live this truth on a daily basis?
In the second reading, “Jesus remains accessible to us now in the life-giving Holy Spirit, assuring us that one day we, too, if we live out our faith in Him through the mission of loving service, he calls us to we will experience the rewards of heaven.” (Fr. Antony Kadavil, Reflections for the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, Vatican News, 30 May 2019, 11:28)
In the gospel, just before the Ascension, Jesus entrusted to the disciples the mission of preaching the Good News and evangelizing the entire world by bearing witness to him through their lives. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit to energize us to spread the Good News throughout the world. (Fr. Antony Kadavil, Reflections for the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, Vatican News, 30 May 2019, 11:28)
There is the story of Leonardo Da Vinci and the Unfinished Painting. The story goes that Leonardo had started work on a large canvas in his studio for a while he really worked hard on it measuring, studying colors, and applying the colors. Suddenly he stopped working on the canvas. He turned to one of his gifted students and asked him to complete the painting. The student protested saying he wasn’t a good enough artist to finish the painting. But da Vinci silenced him. “Will not what I have done inspire you to do your best?”
Jesus spread the good news by what he said and what he did especially in suffering his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Jesus left us to finish the picture. Do we love Jesus enough to finish the picture. (http://frtonyshomilies.com/ )
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.