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Solemnity of the Ascension – Cycle B

Reflecting on Acts 1: 1-11

We’re not supposed to leave Jerusalem. We don’t know why. We are hankering to go, to get out of here, where they murdered the prophets and crucified the Savior. We want to do what he told us to do before he was taken up. We want to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth, and we are ready to go NOW.

But he ordered us to stay here in Jerusalem until we are “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” Whatever that means. We are terrified to stay. We spend the nights in sleeplessness, expecting the swords and torches of the Romans, coming to take us away as they did our Christ.

But they haven’t come. Instead, we spend our time remembering him. We talk about our years with him. We whisper in astonishment at the signs that we saw. We nod our heads when one of us says, “Did we really see those five thousand people eat their fill from five loaves and two fish?” “Was that really Jesus on the Galilee that night of the storm?” “Did he really die that day on Calvary?” “And was the tomb truly empty when the women visited it the day after the Sabbath?”

His mother is here with us, staying in the upper room. She wants to hear the stories again and again. And she has many of her own, stories we hadn’t heard before. On the night he was born in Bethlehem, for example, angels filled the sky with singing.

Is that what we are waiting for? Angels in the sky? We don’t know. Jerusalem will be packed next week for the great festival of Pentecost. Maybe something will happen then.

What special intention are you praying for during this Pentecost novena?

What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.
I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Easter - Cycle B

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