Don't Look to the Sky
We have two Holy Days this month, Ascension of the Lord and
Pentecost Sunday. I will talk about
Pentecost on my Reflections page.
Luke wrote two volumes when writing the Gospel. The first
volume we call the “Gospel according to Luke,” and the second we call the “Acts
of the Apostles.” Though separate, they
are inseparable. Luke wrote his Gospel
with Acts in mind, and the Acts explore for us the consequences of the
Gospel. It is arguable that in Luke’s
mind the Acts was the most important volume as it becomes the handbook of the
Church, telling us, “What we are supposed to do with all that Jesus did and
taught until the day He was taken up.”
Luke, in the Gospel, presents the Ascension as part of one
moment, the Resurrection and Ascension occurring on the same day. In Acts, however, Luke says that Jesus
continued to appear to the Apostles for 40 days. This is a definite contradiction as far as a
timeline is concerned, but Luke was not concerned with a timeline. He was concerned with teaching the early
Church. What is critically important is what the Apostles came to understand
about Jesus’ teaching and, thus, what is passed on to us through their
The Ascension provided the moment for this transition. Jesus had been the doer; His return to the
Father made us the doers. The Acts tell
us that “you will be my witnesses.” No one of us can leave spreading of the
faith to others or to the “professionals,” that is the priests and
religious. Their role is not to do our
work, their role is to help the whole Church know what its work is and to help
us to do that work. The phrase, “that’s not my job,” does not exist – or should
not exist – in the Church.
Why is it then, that so many of us are caught still looking
at the sky? Why has anything and
everything become more important than doing the work of Christ? How is it that some parents let soccer games
become more important than Sunday Mass?
How is it we have time for civic clubs but not the Church committee? How is it that many Catholics pay out more in
restaurants than they give to the Church?
Why is it that others can publicly praise Jesus while we remain silent?
It is time to get busy!
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