The celebration and commemoration of the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a call to women and men to be “Kingdom People”. Like those first apostles many find themselves standing around in wonder. Looking up to the sky as it where, unsure and unclear on what is next. What do we do, where do we go and how do we get on with living our lives? Turning on our smart devices, radios and televisions we seem to be just wandering aimlessly and wondering what’s going to happen next.
As we look to this celebration we are called to find in it a charge to get to the work of bearing witness to the kingdom of God. What does this Kingdom of God look like and how do we bear witness to its presence in our midst? This reflection can be a catalyst to getting on track as Kingdom People. So often we see our selves as being Catholic Christians whose primary call is go to Mass on Sundays. But as Kingdom people much more is needed and more is required, As Catholics we are called to be people of the Kingdom of God. We bear witness to God’s Kingdom present in the midst of very divided and hurting world. When we our Kingdom People, our Sunday celebration of the Eucharist truly becomes “font and summit” of our lives. Through our worship we are strengthened to be about the work of the Kingdom of God being Kingdom People for others.
As Christians we are called first to be a people that is open to listening and hearing Christ speak to us and call us to the work of the Kingdom. Jesus comes to us out of the love of the Father for us. He came to save all who are lost so that all who believe in Him might be united eternally with Him and the Father. As we listen to Jesus, like Him we seek the will of the Father, Jesus left behind His family to be about His Father’s business . The will of the Father meant for Him to die to enter into the Paschal Mystery. As Kingdom people we to should reflect Jesus our ruler in pursuing the will of the Father. The Kingdom people are those who understand and give first place to the heavenly Father in their lives, and family and other things come after that. Kingdom people also understand that they need to listen and to practice what Christ tell us. As Kingdom people we follow God by hearing what the Lord says and we putting it into practice.
Jesus tell us “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is. For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.”: Luke 17:20b-21
As Kingdom People we must recognize that the Kingdom is in our midst and seek to listen to the Lord to guide us in our ways. The Feast of the Ascension reminds us that we’ve got work to do, we must put our faith into action. We cannot stand around staring up into the sky but rather with our feet solid on the ground and our hearts tuned into to hearing the Lord speak to us, calling us to be about justice, equality and dignity. So many want to cling to what was, or to some distant past where people didn’t come together, all were not welcome, all lives didn’t matter and all did not sit at the table. But as Catholic Kingdom People we must be the opposite, we must be about something new. We bear witness to a Kingdom of love, justice, equality and peace for everyone.
Listen to the Apostle John ,
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God].He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away. The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
There are so many who need our witness, who need to know that they matter and that we care. This week I returned to church late at night and found someone sleeping by the church doors. Although we startled each other, I let him know he was ok, and that I would get him some food and drink and a restroom. I grabbed a pillow and some blankets that I found and asked him to please come back in the morning so we could see how to best help him. Although seemingly small, we must see in the face of all that we encounter, even those who surprise us the face of God and treat them with love and kindness. Simple gestures such as this can bear witness to the kingdom.
Let us get busy about the work of the kingdom and be “Kingdom People”.
2 thoughts on ““…why are you standing there looking?” “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel””
excellent, thank you for your words of wisdom
Greetings Father Stephan. My thoughts are : The time is now. In a time such as this, everyone needs to see love and kindness. Be blessed.