Sometimes when we walk we can be absent minded and find ourselves in a place by accident. Jesus’ presence on the mount of Ascension wasn’t the result of his absent-mindedness. He didn’t end up there by accident either. Before he was taken up to heaven in glory of his divinity he walked humanly rough terrains of Palestine, he dealt with tough situations and he loved difficult people. Before he was taken up in glory to heaven for 33 years he committed himself to walking to that place we heard of in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles and in the Gospel of Mark.
My Dear Sisters and Brothers! As you can see this statue of the Infant Jesus isn’t heavy. Easily I can hold him in my stretched arm. Would you be able to hold him in your stretched hand? Do you say it is easy? What if I asked you to hold him in your hand for next 24 hours?... 48 hours?... 72 hours?... Do you expect it to be more difficult? Do you expect a miracle, that this statue would become heavier tomorrow and grow even weightier day after tomorrow? We know that the statue wouldn’t become heavier but simply our arm would grow tired under the constant weight of this little statue. What could you do if your arms grow tired holding Jesus? You could always press him against your heart as an act of your love for him. That’s what it means to be his disciple as we hear in the first reading: “You will receive the power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my disciples to the ends of the earth.”
I’ve heard peoples say that believing stoped being fun and thrill to them. Fun and thrill naturally wear off, like your arm wears off after some time of holding an object, but then it is an opportunity to employ commitment into faith. “Then you will be my disciples” says the Lord.
I have heard people say that believing stoped being novelty and became plain and boring to them. Novelty naturally wears off, like your arm wears off after some time of holding an object, but then it is an opportunity to employ in-depth approach, not to stay on the surface but to go deeper in believing. “Then you will be my disciples” says the Lord.
I have heard people say that they get nothing from coming to church. Jesus said: “There is more joy in giving then in receiving.” Focus on receiving will wear you off, like your arm wears off after some time of holding an object, but then it will become an opportunity to occupy yourself with thinking how you can contribute to your Church community to make your it holier, stronger, more missionary, “Then you are my disciples” says the Lord.
My Dear Friends! In Jerusalem, in the Old City, there is a gate called a Beautiful Gate. According to the tradition going back to the Old Testament the Messiah was to enter the city through this gate. When the Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 1541 they sealed off the Beautiful Gate to prevent Messiah’s entrance. However our Christian tradition holds that the Messiah, our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, has already used the gate. Do you know when? On Palm Sunday. That sealed gate is now a spiritual challenge for us, we can never get discouraged by obstacles we face to spread the Good News, whether the obstacles are in our own personalities or in external circumstances. If there is a physical or spiritual wall erected before us we should dig a tunnel under it to pass it. Determination for spreading the Gospel is a distinctive factor of those whom Jesus calls his disciples.