Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord – Cycle A
Reflecting on Mt. 28: 16-20
Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? Even at the moment of his ascension the apostles still didn’t get it. They still hoped that Jesus was getting ready to get an army together to expel the Romans from Palestine. And these are the eyewitnesses! They had seen him crucified, had seen the empty tomb, had seen him during the days after his resurrection, and still thought that the great work of his life was going to be to gather an army and rid Israel of the hated Roman occupiers.
That would take a lot of power, a lot of armies. But nothing like the power they were soon to experience. From heaven Jesus was about to send them the Holy Spirit, whose fire would burn—still burns—to the ends of the earth. And yes, the day came when the Romans left Israel, only to be replaced by other foreigners, and today the wars still rage over the very land that Jesus loved.
But the gifts of the Spirit which poured out on the infant Church just nine (novena) days after the Ascension are as powerful now as they were then. May those gifts set the world aflame once again, and may those who terrorize, and abduct, and torture, and make their fortune selling weapons, and live their lives as if God can be domesticated and made to see things our way, be utterly converted by the radical love that only comes from the Spirit of God.
How is the Holy Spirit urging me to dream bigger dreams, to build a new heaven and earth?
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