My Dear sisters and brothers!
In his final moments with his Apostles Jesus said: “When the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but to the ends of the earth.” Obviously this little catholic boy was a witness of Jesus to his Jewish friend.
This feast of the Ascension of the Lord which finishes the period of time when the Apostles could see Jesus begins the period of time when Jesus can be encountered not only by the few in Jerusalem but by all who hear the message of the Good News preached across the globe.
It should humble us that when we share our faith with others they can encounter Jesus Christ as real as the Apostles encountered him in person 2000 years ago.
St Matthew says that on the day of the Ascension Jesus said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.”.” This passage shows us the continuation of Jesus presence in the world. Wherever the Good News is preached people meet Jesus.
We could ask: “Lord why don’t you appear above the MCG at the Grand Final? Show yourself like you did on the day of the Ascension with the angels no your sides. Many people would come to believe in you. Let us know the time and we can organize TV reporters to show it on all channels across the planet. Everybody would believe in you.”
However Jesus tells us what he told his disciples that day on the mountain: “I don’t need to appear above the MCG because every time you tell your next door neighbor about me I am there. Don’t look into the sky waiting for my appearance but spread the Word today. If you keep silence about me today, today people miss a chance to meet me.”
Isn’t thrilling enough to think that what we say and do can be for someone like the moment when St Thomas touched the wounds of Jesus and came to believe.
Isn’t thrilling enough to think that what we say and do can be for someone like the moment when Mary Magdala saw Jesus at the entrance to the tomb on Easter Sunday morning.
Let us pray for courage to use our words and activates to bring Jesus to people’s lives.