Reflections - May 28, 2017

“…..I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  Mt. 28:20.
The Church celebrates the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Today marks the end of the historical life of Jesus together with the Apostles to be with His Father God, who “bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Phil 2:9-11.
In this Gospel of Matthew I find three reflections for this day.
In the first reflection Jesus is with the Apostles before going to His Father’s house “appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God”.
Acts 1:3.  Forty days for the people of God had a meaning of intimacy and friendship with the living and true God.  Example:  Moses, the Ten Commandments.
However, although the Apostles had lived this experience of faith some “worshiped, but they doubted”.  Mt. 28:17.  All human beings have this experience of doubt and worship through “light and darkness”, faith and doubt, but the Lord continues to be by our side.  The Lord does not abandon us and gives us His friendship.
In the second reflection we find the Mission.  “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit….”.  As Pope Francis says:  “It is an invitation by the Lord to His disciples to leave themselves and go toward the periphery, not only geographically, but also existentially:  the mystery of sin and pain, injustices, and ignorance”.  Of course, this message is also for us as the Church, “because when the Church does not come out of itself to evangelize and encloses itself in its “walls” it gets sick and could become a theological narcissism enclosed in itself without allowing it to come out….”.  We evangelize proposing Jesus’ project:  “With Christ, through Him and in Him” (Doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass).
In the third reflection we have the promise of Jesus:  “I am with you always, until the end of the age”.
Jesus is with us in the Eucharist and He is also with us in our everyday lives:  work, family, joy and pains, community.  He only is waiting for a response of unconditional love and dedication from us in the new evangelization.