Don’t Just Stand There – Go Do Something!

May 25, 2017 – The Ascension of the Lord


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mattthew (28:16-20)

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“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 the age.”
Reflect: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. Jesus returns to his Father, but, first, he commands his disciples to evangelize the world. From another perspective of the same Ascension scene, we see in the first reading from the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles (1:1-11) that the apostles where transfixed, gazing into the sky when two angels speak to them: They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” At times, we might be like the apostles: paused, staring at the sky, wondering what to do.  Jesus exhorts us into action: do not fear, “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” He encourages us to trust him, to trust his Holy Spirit to guide and direct all that we are doing.  We are graced through Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist, and commissioned to be disciples to invite others to know and love Jesus – not just on the surface, but through a genuine, profound, meaningful relationship.  He is our all.  The apostles were stalled for a moment because their hopes and dreams wrapped up in their beloved Savior ascended into heaven. Undoubtedly, they wondered, “what should we do now?”  Jesus promised to be with them, with us, always; and to send out his Holy Spirit to inspire and fortify all that they, that we, would do.  We aren’t left abandoned as orphans. The Holy Spirit, however, speaks strongly and encouraging us: Don’t just stand there; go and make disciples – and do it now!

Questions: If I find myself stalled, wondering what to do in serving Jesus, do I ask the Holy Spirit for inspiration and to push me courageously into action? How can I be more attentive to the movement of the Holy Spirit about what it means for me to be a disciple in the world today? What opportunities might Jesus be presenting to me, right before my eyes, to not just be a bystander but to be engaged in action to serve him and to build up his body, the Church?

Pray: Loving God, give me the grace to be an engaged true disciple so that my life and actions might bear fruit and advance your Kingdom here on earth so as to prepare those I encounter daily for the everlasting Kingdom in Heaven. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world. Alleluia, alleluia!

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