Last week we celebrated the Ascension of the Lord and we heard the great commission that Jesus gave His disciples, including us, as He left this earth: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. In our baptism we accepted this commission as our own.
It can seem very scary. How can I do that? I am a sinner, I am not sure what I believe, I don’t want to be arrogant, etc., etc. Well, Jesus added one more line, before He ascended: And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. And that is what we celebrate today: Jesus sent us His Spirit to be with us, to guide us, to give us the courage we need.
Think of a small child 5 years old, going to school for the first time. The world can seem so large and overwhelming: scary. The child could never imagine growing up to be a parent or teacher or lawyer or doctor or priest or….. But, with the steady guidance of parents and then teachers and other mentors, we all grew to who and what we are now.
That is what the Holy Spirit does for us in our spiritual life. When we look at the commission to “go out to others and teach them what Jesus commanded,” it IS overwhelming. But the Spirit helps us, step by baby step, to do it. When we are kind to someone, when we forgive someone, when we can let go of anger, when we can share with others, when we can gently correct someone, when we participate in the Eucharist despite a busy schedule, etc., we are fulfilling the commission. Through all these little steps we are “teaching” others what Jesus commanded, by living it in our lives.
As we celebrate our birthday, the birthday of the Church, let us thank Jesus, who, through His Spirit, is with us always, until the end of the age. And let us resolve to spend quiet time each day, allowing the Spirit to speak with us. God bless and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You look good for being almost 2,000 years old!