Preaching The Word


May 24, 2020
Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
Acts of the Apostles 1:1–11 ♰ Ephesians 1:17–23 ♰ Matthew 28:16–20

Reflection by: Sister Jeanne Goyette, OP

Why are you standing there looking at the sky? As the disciples witnessed the Ascension of Jesus and as they looked up at the sky, they probably wondered how their lives would be different. How would the reign of God be realized without Jesus? How could they continue without the reassuring presence of Jesus to instruct and comfort them? How could they believe that they would be witnesses to the ends of the earth? Yes, their lives would be different! 

Our life situations may not be the same as the disciples, but we may have some of the same questions and doubts. In the midst of today’s problems—a devastating pandemic, economic crises, political and global unrest—how can the reign of God be realized? Where is Jesus to instruct and comfort us? How can we witness the Good News of the gospel amid such suffering and questioning? 

Yet if we read the scriptures carefully, we can find some answers and reassurances. No matter what the hardship or suffering, Jesus promises, “I am with you always, yes, to the end of time.” We are never left to rely just on our own resources. Jesus is beside/within us, understanding our pain and offering peace and consolation, and oftentimes creative opportunities for transformation. 

Another reassurance is that we have been empowered to live in the reign of God and witness the Good News through the gift of the Holy Spirit. So many examples of this are evident in the news especially today—the thousands of healthcare workers who selflessly care for the sick, the many people who are reaching out to the homebound and needy to provide supplies, the simple acts of kindness to neighbors and strangers, and the efforts to communicate life-giving messages through the media. May we all be grateful for the ways we have been invited to spread the Good News and to allow the Spirit to transform our lives with grace and wisdom.

God is with us, the Good News is being proclaimed, the reign of God is at hand!

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