“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8)
Being with Jesus in His last moments must have been filled with sadness, as the disciples fear losing Him again. The disciples’ anxieties made them continue to huddle together for reassurance and protection. It takes tough courage to be a follower of Christ, especially in those days when being martyred was a daily happening. This courage can only happen when there is faith in God. Unlike today, when we just read it (happening elsewhere) while in the comfort of our homes. However, His ascension was a deeply spiritual time of blessing and joy. The farewell words of Jesus made them hopeful of good things to come. The disciples would be needing this as they will be encountering challenges and difficulties. In those times when the disciples were preaching the Good News, the fields were fresh with blood spilled for Christ. Thus, being committed to Christ requires total surrender to His commands and the willingness to open oneself to whatever may happen. Obedience is to be made as an act of faith for the Lord. Today being a Christian similarly demands a challenging and a changing life. We are constantly called to be witnesses to bring others to reconcile with Jesus. This Gospel reminds us that the Church of which we’re part is called to be a reconciling presence in the world. This reconciling presence of Christ is celebrated in the Church’s sacramental life. In the Sacrament of Baptism, we are washed from sin and become new creations in Christ. In the Sacrament of Penance, we experience and celebrate the mercy of God in forgiving sins. This reconciling presence is also to be a way of life for Christians. In situations of divisiveness and conflict, we are to be agents of peace and harmony among people. We cannot bring separation and disunity into the world when we are called to bring souls to Christ. Love for Jesus should be our desire and motivation. It should allow us to look beyond and discern what is happening as media bombards us with information (and misinformation!) everyday, for when we are Christ’s we understand better. We should walk in the shoes of others for us to be able to know and love them.
Let us not stay in our comfort zones, instead let us go where Jesus wants us to go. Letting go will not necessarily bring us sorrow but joy like what the disciples experienced when our Lord ascended into Heaven.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations”, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28: 19a, 20b)