May 21 – Ascension of the Lord

Have you ever noticed that in every aspect of life, there is a the need for the student to become the teacher?  In a way, it is how the Lord created us.  Starting with family life, the child will eventually become the parent, the apprentice become the professional, the student become the teacher.  

We do this in small ways and in small steps. For example, I remember my dad teaching me how to change a tire.  He did it once and then he told me to do it by myself so that I could be prepared to change a flat.  Or I remember in math class, the teacher would solve a problem on the  projector screen and then assign me to repeat the solution on ten other problems just like it.  Even studying for the priesthood, I had the opportunity to shadow many priests in their ministry with the hope that when I myself was ordained, I could do likewise. 

Everything in life, points to learning, doing it ourself, and even teaching others to do likewise!  Our faith is no different.  What was the Lord doing when he was with his disciples for 3 years?  He wasn’t just teaching them rules or concepts, but also how to live—even to the point that the early Church would describe the Christian religion as “the way” …the way to the Father, the way to beatitude, the way to salvation! What is the Ascension all about?  Yes, it is the account of our Lord ascending to the right hand of the Father in Heaven; but it also the story of our Lord asking his disciples to now live what they were taught, and to lead others on the way.

What about us?  Do we not only know but also live the faith well enough so as to be able to teach it to others?  Thankfully we don’t need to be Padre Pio or Mother Teresa to lead others to the next step on the way, because the Lord desires to send each and every one of us out—including you!  For all of the ways in which we feel inadequate, let us ask the Lord on this feast of the Ascension to give us the discipline, courage, and zeal to learn, live, and share the gift of our faith with others!

Father Michael