for Everyday Life
This monthly article exclusively
found on the St. Luke Parish Web site focuses on Sunday readings or liturgical season and their application to our lives.
The reflections are written by parish scripture study leaders and are typically posted the first weekend of the month.
24:46-53 In this reading, Jesus commissions his disciples, reminding them that they are witnesses to what was written about him, “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 (v. 46-47).” Jesus then
blessed them and parted from them. The disciples finally seemed to comprehend who Jesus
was, as they fell and did him homage, as befitting a King! (Today’s psalm proclaims:
“The Lord is King, let the earth rejoice!”) And the disciples joyfully returned
to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit. Even
though the disciples were joyful that Jesus had risen and was now ascending to power in the
heavenly kingdom, they might not have had total confidence in themselves to continue the mission
of Christ. They had to wait for the Holy Spirit to “clothe them with power from on high.” After
that, they boldly proclaimed the Good News of salvation to all. How are we witnessing to Christ?
Do we need a “jump start?” Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will give us the courage and confidence
to bring the love of Christ to all those in need.
St. Luke begins his second book, the Acts of the Apostles, with a description
of our Lord’s bodily ascension into heaven after
he had given his apostles their final instructions. They were to
spread the Good News, and they were to be his witnesses all over the world until he returned; but he was not abandoning them. They were to receive the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire them
as they spread the Gospel message “to all the earth.”
is a real challenge for us in today’s first reading. We also are called to bring the message of Christ to others. It is our turn to spread the Good News. The mission of the apostles
doesn’t primarily continue through the Pope, bishops
and clergy; we also must do our part “to be his
witnesses” in this hurting world. We are not alone;
the risen Christ is still with us - in each other, our families, our Church, Sacred Scripture, and in the sacraments. St. Francis of Assisi summed it up in one sentence as he sent his friars out into the world: “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary,
use words.” We are living out our missionary call
whenever we show concern for those in need. Even the smallest gesture of
a warm smile or friendly “Hello” can lift up someone’s spirits. Just as Jesus was “lifted up”
let us also lift up the spirits of those who are “down”
or alone. In this simple act of love, we are spreading
the Good News.
In this reading, St. Paul prays that the early
Christians may be fully aware of all that Christ accomplished
while on this earth, and that they may receive a Spirit of wisdom and understanding to continue his mission. He reminds them that Jesus is always present, since he is the head of the Church, and the members of the church are his body. He also prays that the
Holy Spirit would enlighten their minds, so that they can appreciate
and understand the wonderful things God has done for them through
the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, our Savior. Paul’s
words apply to us today. Do we appreciate the marvelous things that God has done for us? Because God sent his divine Son down to earth to share in our humanity, we have become God’s adopted sons and daughters, and our inheritance is “the riches of glory”
if we but remain faithful. “May you know... the surpassing
greatness of God’s power for us who believe (v. 19).” Imagine
that! We have been empowered by the Spirit of God to continue Christ’s work on earth. That’s a lot of power to possess; but our cooperation is needed. Let’s pray for the courage
to step out in faith wherever God may lead us and trust that he
is always with us, even though the road may get “bumpy.”
Let us keep in mind that wonderful “inheritance” that awaits us!