May 12, 2013 –– The Ascension of the Lord
According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus gives his final instructions to His Apostles just prior to His Ascension into Heaven, which we celebrate today. He tells them that they are His witnesses, and charges them to go out and spread the Good News. In addition, in the first reading from Acts we learn that they are to spread this Good News, be witnesses, “to the ends of the earth.”
Nevertheless, we subsequently learn that they went back to Jerusalem (the Ascension occurred at Bethany, which is only a few miles from Jerusalem), and they prayed. In fact, they prayed until Pentecost (next Sunday, May 19). That was in many ways an act of stewardship. Jesus had cautioned them that they were not prepared for the ministry to which He was calling them. We are all called, but that does not mean we are prepared.
They prayed, and we need to pray. Scripture also notes that they “prayed with one accord.” Assuredly they prayed as individuals, but they also prayed together. As good stewards, we need to do that, too. It brings us closer to the Lord we must serve; it helps us to understand what Jesus expects of us. Prayer provides the foundation for lives of service, lives of stewardship. If we remain close to Jesus, we will never be left unprepared to be good stewards.