Friday, May 26, 2006

Bible Study - The Ascension of Our Lord

Hi everyone. The Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to Sunday this year (in most dioceses around the US, anyway) and the readings can be found here.

I'm going to start by commenting on a couple verses from the first reading and go from there:

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
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.”

The Holy Father has announced the theme for the next international World Youth Day to be held in Australia as "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you." What does this mean? What kind of power does the Holy Spirit give? Isn't it a contradiction for a Christian to seek power? I think the answer lies in the life of Jesus. Jesus was powerful, just not in the same way the world sees power. He cured the sick, drove out demons, forgave sins, taught the way of the cross, and died for us out of love. The world sees power as something to be gained that can be exercized over people. As Christians we know that real power comes from Jesus and that "power is made perfect in weakness."

True power is found in the blood of the martyrs, the teachings of the doctors of the Church, the ministry of pastors, the fidelity of virgins, and the living example of holy men and women of every generation. The power they wielded changed the world. Without our Lord they would have been nothing, but with Him they had the ability to do all things.

That said, whenever I meditate on the Ascension I think of the sorrow the disciples must have felt. "Why is Jesus deserting us?" They must have derived some consolation from his promise to be with them always "even unto the end of the age," but how were they to go about declaring the gospel to all nations "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?" I think it's easy to feel discouraged, but we have to remember that we have the gifts of the Holy Spirit, like the disciples through the Sacrament of Confirmation. As soldiers for Christ let us march confidently forward to declare the Gospel to every creature.

God bless


Blogger British Jenny said...

Nice reflection brad :)

4:15 PM  

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