A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE ASCENSION – MAY 28TH, 2017 – CYCLE “A” – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Many times in our lives, when people in authority over us, go away, many times they will leave a list of things for us to, in their absence, to keep us busy. I think I first realized this, when my brothers and I got a little older, and our parents would be gone on the weekend. Before they would leave, they would hand each of my brothers and I a list of things, chores, that we were supposed to get accomplished, before they returned home. Once, I made the comment, that “Hey, isn’t that exactly what Cinderella’s mean step-mother did, in the Disney movie?” And the next time, my Dad made my list even longer. But parents aren’t the only ones who do this. Teachers also do this. I had one teacher once, that every time she left the room, she gave us some work to do. Whether she was gone for one minute, or three hours, we had our responsibilities to take care of, while she was gone. And of course, this is excellent preparation for life, because a lot of bosses do this also. Today, it is very common for a boss, if he or she is going to be gone, to leave a list of responsibilities that are to be completed while they are gone. I’ve also heard that married couples frequently have lists for each other to get done. They call these “Honey-Do Lists”. And Lest you think… I always wanted to use the word “Lest” in a homily, Lest you think that priests are exempt from this, I can assure you that we too get “Honey-Do” lists from the Bishop, all the time! He doesn’t want us to get bored.
Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension. And as we celebrate Jesus’s return to His Father, we celebrate that where Jesus goes, we want to follow! We want to be with Him in that Kingdom that lasts forever! And as we heard in our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles and from our Gospel story, Jesus offers us His peace, His love, His Holy Spirit, and He tell us that He is really only a prayer away! We are following Jesus home to Heaven. We are on our way!
And yet, just like with our parents, and our teachers, and our bosses, Jesus is also reminding us today that we are not just supposed to be sitting around, waiting for His return. We are to be busy. We’ve got a job to do! We’re not supposed to be standing around, looking at the sky, waiting for His return. I love that bit at the end of our first reading today, when the angels show up, and ask the Apostles if they are going to just stay there looking up at the sky? It is as though, God had to send two angels just to get the Apostles to go to work! We’re not supposed to be just sitting around church. We’re not supposed to be day-dreaming. We’re not supposed to be just thinking about what we’re going to do next. We’ve got to know what to do next! We are to get out there and bring the Good News to others! We are to make disciples of all nations. We are to Baptize them, and catechize them, and help God form all us into the Church that He needs us to be!
This is NOT time to just sit around. This is not the time to be bored. I assure you, if you are bored as a Catholic Christian, then you’re not doing it right. Nobody should be bored in the Catholic Church. There’s way too much work to do! And we’ve got to quit wasting time too. Time is short. We only get so much time! Think of the time that we waste with the TV, with the computer, and with our phones. The internet has become the Great Consumer of our time. We say we don’t have time to pray, or to go to Adoration, or to volunteer, or to evangelize, but look at the time that we have to surf the internet! We don’t “surf” the internet. Most of us dive right in! We get completely submerged!
This weekend, is a great time to remember that as Catholic Christians, we ALL have a job to do. We’re supposed to be busy doing God’s work, while we are in this world and while we await the Lord’s return. How many things on your “To Do” list, have to do with building or expanding the Kingdom of God? Someday, God is going to ask us how much we got done for Him, while we were in this world. Someday, He is coming back! On this Feast Day, let us pledge to be ready for that day! Let’s remember that we work for Him! And let us be accountable now, so that we can be accountable then!
+ May God bless us on this Feast Day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti…. Pray for us !!!