Jesus is no longer in their midst. They can no longer reach out and touch him. They can no longer see his expressions of love, concern, patience, or mercy. His body is no longer on earth. Oh, but his spirit remains. They can remember the fun they had, the mysteries they experienced, and the love they shared. They recall his words to them – intimate words that were not shared with others, instructive words that would hold them fast in the days and years ahead. Words of inspiration, wisdom, kindness. Words that have molded them, strengthened them, encouraged them. Words and actions they want to share with others–with the world–so that others too might get to know him.
But then he was gone. Taken up into heaven with his final words ringing in their ears: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation” (Acts 1:8). The eleven “went forth and preached everywhere. The Lord continued to work with them and confirmed the message through signs that accompanied them” (Mark 16:20).
The call of the Apostles is our call as well – to share what we know about Jesus, His Father, and the Holy Spirit. We can’t give what we don’t have. How are we fostering our intimate relationship with Jesus? What words do we hear him speak to our hearts? What challenge does he give us today and for whom? Are we ready and willing to go forth to share this God of ours with our community, our family, our neighbors far and wide? Jesus said to the Apostles, “Go.” It is our command as well. “Go.”
By Sister Veronica Ryan, OSB