Turn off your cell phone, TV, or radio. Listen to the silence that is around you. Listen for God to speak to you.
1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Many liturgical churches around the world are celebrating the feast of “The Ascension of Our Lord” today. It is a feast that celebrates the ascension of Christ to heaven and the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit and power to continue Christ’s ministry on earth. Even though Christ has ascended, he left the disciples and believers as his body to continue the work he began. Many of you are familiar with a poem written by St. Teresa of Alvia,
“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
So we are given the vocation of continuing the work of Christ on this earth. We are baptized and set apart to the work of ministry. We are given the Holy Spirit to lead us and make us capable of this amazing calling.
Glorious Christ, as you have risen and given us the power to do your work, let us rise to the task of doing it. When we are discouraged, raise our hearts. When we are tired, strengthen our feeble hands. When we do not know the words to say, speak through us. Help us to do your work, in your power, for your glory. Amen.
Go with God!