The Ascension of the Lord


By Tina Sibbald

Have you ever lost someone important to you, and wished that you had one more chance at a final exchange – something you need to tell that person, or need to know; a proper farewell and closure which brings peace?

Accounts of Jesus’ final encounters with his disciples in this week’s readings evokes a myriad of emotions: it is wondrous, exciting, bittersweet, sad, happy and joyful all at once. Jesus was communicating His final instructions to His followers about how they should carry on once He ascended into Heaven to be with the Father. However, they wanted to know more. Much like our children who are inquisitive when we give them instructions: but why Mommy, why Daddy? There were and are things that they, and we, are not ready to know – but will be, in God’s divine time. But Lord, just one more thing before you go…

As I read Pope Francis’ message to the faithful for World Communications day for this year of mercy, I couldn’t help but think of some of the challenges I’m facing in my own life of late. But I have all the answers, trust me. I’ve made it very clear to God on more than one occasion what He needs to do to sort it all out for me.

In reading the Pope’s message, I understand our mandate to be communicators of God’s mercy to a lost world through acts of kindness, acts of forgiveness and sharing the message of hope. But what caught me off guard was with his words: “Knowing how to listen is an immense grace, it is a gift which we need to ask for and then make every effort to practice.”

The disciples listened – but then they had questions. I have questions. Lots and lots of questions, and I even think I know some of the answers too. In this season of my life, where sometimes there are more questions than answers, I’m realizing that sometimes communication involves using what God gave me in a way that is appropriately proportionate: I have two ears and one mouth. I think the best communication is going to happen over the next while with my mouth closed; my ears, and heart open. And if I may be so bold to add my own verse to today’s readings, it would be the first half of Psalm 46.10 – “Be still, and know that I am God”.

May stillness, and blessings be yours this week.

Sunday’s Readings: Acts 1.1-11 Ephesians 1.17-23 Luke 24.46-53

About the Homepage Image:  The Ascension of Christ by Pietro Perugino (1496-1500)