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Gospel reflection

June 2, 2019: The Ascension of the Lord

Reading: Luke 24:46-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.

They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.

Reflection:

Imagine being there with the disciples that day at Bethany. Jesus tells the disciples to return to the city to await being clothed with the power from on high. Your heart hopes for something wonderful. Your brain cannot assign meaning to those words. It analyzes them and decides that healthy skepticism is the proper response. You sigh and wonder, “What does this mean? Will I ever understand?”

The words of Jesus’ blessing break into your thoughts. Peace and comfort return as you again feel on natural ground. Smiling, you look up just in time to see Jesus rising to the heavens in a majestic display of natural wonders. Your heart gives your brain the “I told you so” response.

Luke tells us the disciples returned to Jerusalem and were continually in the temple praising God. We have a feel for what the disciples did with their lives.

Yet,back to our imaginings, what would we do? The present tense is intentional. Our story is not yet fully written.

Our world teaches us to only have faith in what we know. In a way though, that is control, not trust. God asks us to move past that comfort zone of control. God asks us to move forward trusting in God’s plan in God’s time. The lives of the disciples, the saints, and spiritual people of our day show us both the peace and joy experienced in living that way, as well as the myriad of possibilities in a life lived that way. We realize too that the disciples grew in trust by baby steps. We grow in trust in a similar way. Are we ready to take the next step?

Action:

Journal or share with a friend one experience from your life where you trusted someone and he/she came through for you. Did the response differ from or exceed what you thought the answer had to be? Did you accept that alternative solution? Would you ever have experienced that assistance/relief/support if you had not trusted in its being there? Finally, spend some time thinking about a time when you had to trust in God. What did that feel like? Hold those reflections for next week.

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Helen Flavin

Helen Flavin is a Providence Associate. She is a Catholic scientist, educator and writer. Helen received her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from Boston College. She is a fulltime science teacher. She is a guest columnist for her Diocese’s Catholic Newspaper “The Anchor.” She enjoys volunteering at the local nursing home.

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