Feast Of The Ascension 2018
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: May 13, 2018
Grow up. Has anyone ever told you that before? Be Mature. Stop waiting for someone else to do something. Grow up. Perhaps a blunt way to explain the meaning of the Feast of the Ascension.
The Ascension is not so much about Jesus going away But about the disciples of Jesus, the early Church, growing up, becoming mature, taking responsibility for the mission of Jesus. They were no longer sitting around waiting for God to do something. It was now up to them. God was going to do something, but through them.
Jesus commissions them to go out and proclaim the Gospel. Gospel means Good News. Good news, not bad news. Sometimes we Christians sound like people of bad news, always complaining about people, about the world, how bad it is. But, we are to proclaim Good News. We do this by how we live and by how we speak.
Proclaim the Gospel, the Good News. Does the way we speak to one another proclaim Good news? Look at the way you speak to your spouse, the way you speak to your children, the way you speak to friends, the way you speak to your co-workers.
Is it Good News, does it bring hope, encouragement. Does it lead to communion or does it tear down, discourage, criticize all the time? Does our language and way of speaking to others build up or tear down? Is it good news or bad news?
Pope Francis in his Message for World Communication Day this year, included a prayer based on the Prayer of St. Francis. It is called Pope Francis’ Prayer for Countering “Fake News” It is about how we speak, how we communicate to others. In our relationships and also relevant to social media today.
You can find this prayer on line. A good prayer for most of us to use even as a reflection on how I am communicating and speaking to others in my life. (find it online)
So, you will all be sent out from here today, Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.
On this feast of the Ascension, the blunt message we need to hear is:
Grow Up, become mature Christians. Stop sitting around waiting for God to do something. God wants to work through you. Take responsibility for the mission of the church. Do not wait for the Pope, or the priest or some other person to do this. Do not wait for God to do something.
Go and proclaim Good news. And in particular bring Good news by the way you speak to others, at home, at school, at work, on social media. By your words bring communion, build up and not tear down, bring goodness.