“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” These words from our first reading today remind us of the mission that Jesus gave his disciples before his Ascension into heaven. As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension this Sunday, we are reminded that Jesus continues to speak these words to us, and continues to instruct us to form disciples in his name. The mission statement of our Diocese, “Being a mission-oriented Church that forms disciples of Jesus”, reminds us of this fact. All of us are called to this mission. All of us are called to help form disciples of Jesus.
Each of us is called to participate in this mission in a unique way, according to our state in life. We are called to witness to Jesus in our homes, places of work, when we are shopping or in other public places: in short, throughout our whole lives! This can seem overwhelming at first, but it’s important to remember that we do not have to do this work alone. We are called to carry out this mission as a community of believers. In addition, Jesus promises us that he will send the Holy Spirit to give power, and to enable the disciples to complete the mission entrusted to them.
Each of us has received the Holy Spirit through our Baptism. As we reflect on Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples, and as we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost next Sunday, we are given an opportunity to reflect on the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Do we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in fulfilling our mission to form Disciples? Do we allow the Spirit to remind us of God’s presence in our lives? If we feel that we need to rekindle the fire of the Spirit in our hearts, then perhaps throughout the coming week, we can pray for the Spirit to come into our hearts in a more powerful way, just as the Spirit descended upon the disciples at Pentecost.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, Who did instruct the hearts of your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation,through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Steven Huber, CSB