Ascension And Mothers Day
The Ascension of the Lord (B)
Scriptural Readings: Acts 1:1-11; Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20
My dear encountered couples:
We are challenged by the words of Jesus. He gives us a new commandment to love one another as he has loved us. He commissions us to go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Jesus told his disciples “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you.” He was referring to the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In Matthew’s gospel (28:18-20) we find the great commissioning where Jesus said to the disciples. “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of age.”
He has challenged us to live our lives placing Him first in our lives. We are asked to trust Him and believe in Him. Yet there are times that we question why He has left us - that He does not answer our prayers – that He does not seem to be there for us. Therefore, He must not be with us. Sure, 2000 plus years ago Jesus worked miracles for his followers but is He available to us today? The answer is YES. I think this story may help us to understand that He will always be with us.
One evening a father who lived in a suburb of New York, told his 10-year-old son, “I want you to join me one day next week. We’ll take the subway and you can spend some time seeing how I spend my day. Then you’ll come home by yourself so that you can get acquainted with traveling by subway.” The boy was somewhat apprehensive about the prospect of coming home alone but his father assured him that he would be fine.
On the morning they left, his father explained all the details of the trip to New York and gave him a written, detailed set of directions for returning. After boarding the train, his father showed him the maps posted in the cars that identified all the stops. He explained that when they changed trains, the next train would be waiting for their arrival. Everything went smoothly, and they arrived in New York as planned.
However, the young boy was still apprehensive as his father took him back to the station for the return trip home. He had the instructions, and he had his father’s assurance that he would be fine but he still worried. As he waved goodbye to his father and boarded the train, he immediately went to the section where the maps were located. Sure enough, all the stops were outlined. He got off at the correct station, and just as his father had promised, the other train was waiting on the next ramp. He boarded and as he again studied the map he was relieved to see that his home station was just 6 stops away.
Now, he felt more confident. When the train approached his station, he got up, stood in from the exit door and when it opened he breathed a sigh of relief… he had made it. His mother was there to meet him and as he turned toward the rear of the train he saw her waving to him.
He walked back toward her and suddenly, he saw his father leaving the car right behind his. His father had been with him all the time. There had never been any need to worry. His father took his arm and said, “Son you know I will always be with you when you need me.” As he locked arms with his mother and father, a very confident, happy young man knew he was surrounded by those who loved him.
As parents and grandparents, we can easily identify with the father of this young boy. We would never leave our children or grandchildren unprotected. If we feel that way, don’t we think that Jesus would be even more committed to us. It is important for each of us to realize that no matter what the problem is, or the circumstances are, Jesus will help us. He tells us to ask, to seek and to knock. He will not leave us alone. He will be there to help us.
In addition, He has provided us with His teachings, which are the road maps that we are to follow. In the great commissioning he has passed on to us the responsibility of completing God’s kingdom on earth. We are to preach the gospel, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and love one another as He has loved us.
Yes, we must have faith and trust in Jesus, but the Ascension expresses a different kind of faith – God’s Faith in us. We have faith in him, but He also has faith in us that we will continue His work here on earth. He will not leave us – He will be there for us in good times and in bad – Jesus wants to be within us.
Over 2000 years ago Jesus passed on to each of us the responsibility of completing the work that he had begun here on earth – that is completing God’s kingdom. We each share in that responsibility. Each of us must decide how we will do our part to bring about His kingdom on earth. He tells us to not be afraid but to have faith in ourselves and in Him.
Today, we celebrate Mother’s Day. We all know how gentle, kind and forgiving our mothers have been with us. It is important that we see Jesus as one who cares about each of us in a gently way as well.