May 20, 2012: Feast of the Ascension
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.” (John 17:11b-19)
It is hard to think about what it would have been like for the disciples of Jesus to see him ascending into heaven! Can you imagine it? There you are talking with Jesus who looks like his old self before he was crucified. Yes, he does have the scars in his hands which are a very clear reminder of what he has been through, but he is the person you have known for a long time, the person you love deeply and who wants you to carry on the work he has begun. And just when you are becoming comfortable with what is ahead of you, he is gradually taken up right in front of your eyes!
Try to either write something today trying to describe what you think the apostles would have wanted to say about seeing Jesus taken up into heaven, or draw a picture of what you think they would have looked like when they saw him being lifted up. The focus of what you write or draw is not Jesus, but you. You are the one left on earth. You are the one that Jesus will use to bring his message of love to all those you meet.