A Wakeup Call to Each One of Us

Sunday, May 21, 2023

READINGS: ACTS 1: 1-11; PS 47:2-3, 6-9; EPH 1:17-23; MT 28:16-20

Today, we celebrate the great feast of the Ascension of our Lord.  Wasn’t this feast formerly celebrated on a Thursday?  Yes, that is true – however, the bishops of this region decided to move the feast to the nearest Sunday to encourage more Catholics to participate in this commemorative holy event.  This feast celebrates the glorious moment when Jesus, 40 days after His resurrection, was lifted up — quite literally — into heaven, as the apostles watched in stunned amazement. It is recounted in both our first reading, from Acts, as well as the Gospel passage, from Matthew. It must have been an extraordinary thing to witness.

The first reading this Sunday, tells us that the apostles were not permitted to simply bask in the moment for very long. “While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?’”

In other words, “Don’t just stand there, do something!”

This verse is a wakeup call to each one of us this very day. We have been given every grace and blessing through the Mass and all of the sacraments, through the Word of God, the rich teachings of our faith, and even our talents and our material possessions. And like those first apostles, we are not meant to just stand here but to do something with these gifts — in love and gratitude to the One Who gave them to us. We are called, just as much as the first apostles “to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” not with our own power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us.