The world needs the Good News of the Ascension of Jesus Christ. Pope Francis tells us, “The Ascension does not point to Jesus’ absence, but tells us that he is alive in our midst in a new way. He is now in the Lordship of God, present in every space and time, close to each one of us.”
The Early Church wrestled with questions of inclusivity and what should be expected of the growing number of non-Jewish believers. So, they came together, prayed, and listened to one another to discern how the Holy Spirit was at work in the Church.
In today’s gospel, Jesus encourages us to love one another as he has loved us. He showed this love by his willingness to be humiliated, scourged, and crucified for our sins. It is precisely this type of love that Christ is calling us to express in our everyday lives.
There are many voices that call for our attention. We are pulled in hundreds of directions trying to give our full attention to those voices and addressing their needs. Jesus’ voice is that tiny, still voice that speaks in the silence of the heart.
God doesn’t just allow us to drag our dead fish to his already blazing fire — he tells us to. He accepts our offering — our good works, our suffering, our praise, our love. He accepts everything we have to give, and then He sits with us, and He gives us a job to do.
Ponder the most significant stone or boulder in your life. Do you believe you have a future despite what is before your eyes? When Life Eternal touched the disciples, they were transformed. No longer were their eyes cast down or gazing in the past. God always brings life.
It would be easy to see the triumphal tone of the entrance into Jerusalem as a grand conclusion of Jesus’ mission. But, as we know, his mission, his journey did not end there. And it is here, that Jesus shows us the way we are to go: the way of humility.
A woman who had been caught in adultery is dragged before Jesus. The penalty for her sin is that she be stoned to death. As Jesus sees the woman dragged to him, he probably cannot help but think that soon this same crowd would be dragging him.
The story of the Prodigal Son is familiar to all of us. It’s interesting to note the verbs used to describe the action of the two groups Jesus is speaking to: the first group “were drawing near,” while the second “began to complain.”
In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus speaks of repentance and gives the parable of the fig tree. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we find the gardener who will not give up on us, as we kneel before the mercy of God — again and again and again.
The mystical works of our unfathomable God are often unexplainable and even inconceivable, yet that does not make them any less magnificently true! As the apostles saw Jesus transfigured upon the mountain, but we glimpse his glory in the Eucharist.