Jesus has gone up heaven. And from his throne he looks down on earth to lift up the helpless from the dust and raise the poor from the dump (Ps 113, 6-7).
Jesus tells his followers to wait for the Holy Spirit. And they quickly ask if it is time for him to raise up again the kingdom of Israel.
And he, then, makes clear that it is not for them to know what God has kept for himself. What is for them, yes, is to witness to him in lands near and far, friend and foe.
That is, he gives them a task. For he sends them to make disciples of all nations. And they will baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. They will teach them, besides, to keep all he has commanded them.
Such explanation shows that Jesus and his followers do not think the same. They are for nationalism and want the kingdom to be in the hands of Jews. Begone, then, puppet king! So, they seek to keep out, nay, oust the Romans. They spurn pagan worship and the hodge-podge of beliefs and the stains that they bring. So, woe to Samaria!
But Jesus is given but to raise and build up and spread the kingdom of God. He does not rest until right is might on earth. He wants to set captives, the oppressed and all humans free. No, he is not here to judge, but to save.
That is why he goes around Galilee and brings the Good News to the poor. He seeks, welcomes and forgives the lost. Also, he heals and makes life more human. And due to this, disciples hark back to Galilee.
Yes, the Holy Spirit will have to raise up the disciples. They need the anointing, power, revelation, light of the Spirit. And they will soon have them.
Do we not need to raise ourselves to be on the same wavelength as Jesus?
Do we not look mostly below? And do we truly raise our eyes upward and seek what is above? Maybe we take care more of our affairs than those of Jesus (SV.EN II:527).
And being heavy or unbearable makes it hard for us to go up to him. But naked, we raise up ourselves quick. And our worries make us not hear him. They also choke his word.
True, it is hard not to have worries and mistrust of our own strength. But they should lead us all the more to trust God (SV.EN III:143), the Goodness and Love that Jesus embodies.
Also, to witness to Jesus means to take communion (see Acts 10, 41), so that this food may take us in.
Lord Jesus, you will come back in the same way we see you go up to heaven. Remind us always that as we see you suffer before entering into your glory, so we must suffer. As we do good and raise the poor. And yes, before you come back to raise us.
24 May 2020
Ascension of the Lord (A)
Acts 1, 1-11; Eph 1, 17-23; Mt 28, 16-20