THEME: What Are We Waiting For?

BY: Deacon Bill Frere




Gospel – Luke 24:46-53

Throughout my 40 years of teaching, my tests have never really been considered ‘normal.’ There always seemed to be a bit of dread on my students faces wondering what crazy twist I would use to test their knowledge. Most often it would be a group test. I would randomly put them into groups of 3 and then spend the next 10 minutes of so explaining what they would do. For example, here is the vocabulary list for the unit we were covering. Now create a crossword puzzle, complete with the connecting grid, the clues and of course the answer sheet. And then I want the groups to trade their crossword puzzles and then solve them! Inevitably once I was done, there would be these minutes of utter silence and extreme inaction. Is he crazy? Seriously, we have to do this? Then they would look at their group partners and hope someone else would take the lead and start the process. I would finally have to tell them – GO, Get to work!

Which brings us to today, the Feast of the Ascension and today’s readings where we hear not one but two stories of Jesus’ Ascension, one from the Gospel and one from the Acts of the Apostles. Both of them written by the same evangelist, Luke, Gentile, doctor, and companion of Paul! Luke ends his Gospel with the Ascension and then begins his history of the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles with the same story, serving as a bridge between his 2 works.

The apostles are pretty much in the same boat as my students were! Jesus has given them essentially His final instructions. You will be My witnesses to the ends of the earth. You will make disciples of all nations. You will baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and you will teach them My commandments! And you will not be alone – I will be with you; the Spirit will be with you!

And then Jesus ascends into heaven before their eyes. And what do the disciples do? They just stand there gawking up into the sky. You can almost hear them saying to themselves – oh geez, He’s gone! Now what do I do? Well, I’m not gonna go preach first; I’ll let someone else go first. Kind of like Mikey in the Life cereal commercial – I’m not gonna try it, you try it!

It takes 2 angels to appear and knock some sense into them. Why are you just standing around looking up into the sky. Jesus has gone but will return later. So get moving, get busy! He left you a mission! Get to it!

We all have that same mission – to be disciples and missionaries, to spread the word. We are all called to stop standing around and to stop waiting for someone else to take the lead. We are all called to live out our Baptismal promises to witness to our faith, in our words, in our actions, in our life!

So consider this a group kick in the pants – What are you waiting for? Get Moving! We have work to do!

Deacon Bill Frere


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