Weekly Reflection by Catholic Youth Ministry Staff
As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’
The Ascension is meant to be a Feast of profound meaning, hope and promise. However, it is a rather difficult perspective to accept in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. I found myself looking forlorn staring at the empty sky where Jesus ascended. After a few days of wrestling with this idea, I still didn’t arrive to a satisfying conclusion. It didn’t help that the deadline for writing my staff reflection is nearing!
In that day of desperation, I came across an article written by Deacon Keith A. Fournier that helped me slowly make sense of the Ascension. He wrote:
“Jesus Christ has not left us. He is continuing His loving, redemptive plan through His Body, the Church, of which we are members. The Head and the Body cannot be separated. He lives His life through us!”
That’s it! Christ lives in us. I was frantically searching elsewhere, when in fact, Jesus resides in me. He resides in all of us, the whole Church. This reason is enough to celebrate!
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But God’s message didn’t stop there.
One day, I heard a podcast on Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Did you know, this was Jeremiah’s message to the Jews who were exiled and taken as slaves! The Jews were prisoners of war! Jeremiah didn’t tell them, God will set you free or God will save you from your enemies. But instead, Jeremiah reminded them of God’s promises: to prosper us, and give us hope and a future – even though the Jews were slaves! It’s unthinkable!
This year is no different.
God’s promise remains the same. I believe, no matter what situation we are in, during normal times or during a crisis, God remains constant. He is with us. He will bless us. He will never forsake us. God will bring out the good and He will triumph in the end.
I invite you to write down one thing you are grateful for every day for one week. Write it down before you sleep and thank God for the many blessings we received during this pandemic.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us in Australia and the whole world.