Sunday, May 24, 2020
How quickly time passes and especially during these weeks following Easter Sunday. On Sunday, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord, that glorious moment when Jesus, just 40 days after His resurrection, was lifted quite literally into heaven, as the apostles watched in stunned amazement. This account is told in both our first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, as well as today’s Gospel passage, from Matthew. How extraordinary it must have been to have witnessed event.
The first reading tells us that the apostles were not permitted to simply bask in the moment for very long. “While they were looking intently at the heavens as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?’”
In other words, “Don’t just stand there, do something!”
This verse is a call to action this very day for all Catholic Christians. We have been given every grace and blessing through the Mass and all of the sacraments, through the Word of God, the rich teachings of our faith, and even our talents and our material possessions are precious gifts from a generous God.
And like those first apostles, we are not meant to just stand around “twiddling our thumbs”, but to do something with these gifts out of love and gratitude to the One Who gave them to us. We are called, just as much as the first apostles “to be Jesus’ witnesses to the ends of the earth,” not with our own power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit within us given us as promised by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Tomorrow, May 25th is Memorial Day. We honor those who died in service to our nation. Formerly it was called Decoration Day and the custom was to decorate the gravesites and tombs of fallen soldiers. On Memorial Day we remember with pride and gratitude our national heroes who gave their lives while serving their country as members of the U.S. Armed Services.