Today’s Thoughts: I know for many of you this is just an ordinary Thursday but for those of us in the eastern part of the United States it is the Feast of the Ascension. This is one of those days when I truly wish the US bishops would get their act together! Decide on either Thursday or Sunday for the whole country rather than some of the people celebrating one day and others celebrating another. For those of you who celebrate the Feast of the Ascension on Sunday you can save my reflections today until Sunday!
“Men Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” I have always liked this little phase at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles. For me it sets the stage for everything that Luke is going to tell Theophilus about Jesus and this community call Church. Perhaps this question directed at Jesus’ followers just after he ascended into heaven sits at the center of our life as Church.
Sometimes as a Church I think we are standing there look up at the sky. We are looking at the past. We are looking at what use to be and not what is. We are looking back hoping the past will be the present and the future.
The angel’s question to the disciples perhaps was not just a question but a challenge. Are you going to continue to stand here and just look up at the sky? Are you going to live in the past, put your hope in the past? Or are you going to get busy and be about the ministry Jesus has entrusted you with, are you going to get busy about living of life.
In the movie, the Shawshank Redemption Andy at one point tells Red, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.” Perhaps that is what the angel is asking Jesus’ disciples the day of the Ascension. What are they now going to do with the mission, the ministry that Jesus has entrusted them with? Their choices are to stand here and keep looking up at the sky, waiting for Jesus to return, thinking of the past or they can get busy living the life, the faith, the hope, the love that Jesus has entrusted to them.
We might say that this celebration of the Feast of the Ascension challenges us in the same way. Are we as a Church just going to stand around looking, waiting for Jesus, are we going to stand in the midst of the past and wait or are we as a people of faith going to get busy living out our faith through the gifts of the Spirit?
Have a blessed Feast of the Ascension and Thursday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...