Do All Good Things Really Come to an End?
Fr. Lloyd Baugh SJ - May 16, 2021
Before the Passion of Jesus, some of his followers saw him betrayed and denied. Then they watched him die a very humiliating death. Later, when they were told by some of the others that they had seen the Lord, many refused to believe. Eventually, after seeing the risen Lord for themselves, they came to believe in the Resurrection.
Now Jesus is preparing them for his departure and his return to the Father. The disciples have to face the reality of life without him again. Jesus is leaving them, true, but he is not leaving them alone, he is not abandoning them. In fact, he is going to be with them in the Spirit for all time.
Before Jesus takes his leave of his disciples, he entrusts them with the responsibility of carrying on his mission of proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel and of establishing the Kingdom of God among the followers. This very ordinary group of men and women has been chosen by Jesus as the witnesses and heralds of the Resurrection. Through their courageous words and actions, the world will come to know that Jesus is alive, and yes, more alive and present than ever he was. As Jesus’ earthly life ends, their mission and our mission begin.
Today that responsibility now belongs to us. The first friends and followers of Jesus are our ancestors, and we are their descendants. It is now up to each of us in our own way to carry on the mission and ministry of Jesus. Through us today, the world will know that Jesus is alive, present and active in our world. As Pope Francis says to each of us, every Christian is a missionary to the extent that they have experienced the love of God in Jesus and through the Spirit.
Even though we are celebrating the Ascension of Jesus, he has not left, deserted or abandoned us. He is with us when we gather and break bread with each other in the Eucharist. He is with us when we reach out to support each other in our mission. He encourages us to find original and effective means to love and to serve the sick, the lonely, the abandoned, the dying. He accompanies us when we face failure and weakness. These are the signs that Jesus is in us and with us, today and forever.
Michael Moore, OMI, edited by Lloyd Baugh, SJ