May 13, 2018 — The Ascension of the Lord
ACTS 1: 1-11; PS 47: 2-3, 6-9; EPH 1: 17-23; MK 16: 15-20
We often cite Jesus’ quote from today’s Gospel of Mark: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” This was not a suggestion from the Lord. It was quite frankly a command, and it is one which still holds for each of us. Being an evangelist, being a disciple, being a steward is not a matter of choice for those of us who are Catholic and Christian. It is something the Lord expects of us.
Often we may like to spend time debating how to do that, but that does not lessen the fact that it is something we are supposed to do. We need to acknowledge that even the original Apostles and followers of Jesus did not do that immediately. We learn that they stayed in Jerusalem for some time, and it seemed to be only when the Church and its followers were persecuted that they began to reach out and truly share the “Good News.”
Once Christians accepted that charge from the Lord, they did indeed take the Word of God to all corners of the earth. Look at the Church today. It is incredible how this Church has grown from one Man/God and a small group into what it is today. That does not, however, get us “off the hook.”
As much as we may argue about how to carry out this command from Jesus, the fact remains that our very lives need to stand as a representation of what it means to be a Christian, what it means to “love one another,” what it means to live and to work as a disciple of Christ.