Homily June 1, 2014 Ascension

ascensionToday we celebrate what we might call the second part of Christ’s Resurrection. Jesus is alive and has been seen by his disciples and others, but as we all know in our world nothing is forever. His earthly time was ending. Jesus came that all sin might be forgiven by his being born and living as you and me and die. After dying, Jesus came back rising from the dead to show that what he had done was definite and sure for the salvation of all. However, his work would be complete only when he was once again united to his Father and had sent His Spirit to provide for us from now on. So we see in today’s readings that he is taken up to the heavens physically for his disciples to see. But he made it clear that it was not an end but a beginning. He commissioned his disciples to wait for the coming of the Spirit and then to go out to all the world to tell them the good news. It was time to preach Christ and the good news of salvation.axcension2

As believers, we know the struggles of the early church and that in fact much work remains to spread the work of the gospel. In fact, even believers and people who call themselves Christian sometimes fall short of what Christ has called us to do. But still each of us can do his work by breathing in that Spirit he gave us and listening to that deep interior voice which summons us to him. No one respects our freedom and our ability to choose than God himself. It was he after all who gave us those gifts as part of our humanity. That choice unfortunately is what ultimately led to sin entering the world and the salvation by Christ. Yet, still in each of us. inspired by his Spirit, an inner voice remains. God chooses not to overwhelm us but to prompt us, to awaken us to him and what it is we can do to be with him and lead others to him. That voice, that call is something we can choose to hear or keep pushing it into the background. As surely as God was with us when Jesus was alive, he is even more present today, both in the Eucharist, and in the Spirit who dwells in each of us.

This presence calls on us to make Godly choices as we go about our days. God is with us in our lives not in spectacular ways but in ways that keep us on course and an even keel. Our prayers are answered in ways that do bring ultimate peace in our lives. It is helped by how we work with others and how we in small ways bring Christ into the lives of those we meet. None of us, I don’t think ascension3will ever be the traveling missionary preaching far off or to great numbers of non-believers, but surely consider the number of people you meet each week and ask yourself,”Do I bring Jesus to them by being myself, a believer, a follower of Jesus?” In a country claiming to be religious in one way or another, do we embody Christ’s actions and compassion and openness? Do we share his presence with others? We should always remember that every encounter is important and never forget that the Spirit does work through us if only we let him out by our actions and love.

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