By Father Andrew Kelly
ASCENSION OF THE LORD – 6-1-14
Why does the 2014 believing community sometimes act as though it has lost its way? Why does the community’s mission seem to disappear in the midst of internal squabbles, scandals and power plays? Could it be the community has forgotten just who Jesus is and what Jesus has promised?
Sunday’s Solemnity of Jesus’ Exaltation/ Ascension is an ideal time to review what Matthew’s Gospel has to say about Jesus’ presence.
In Matthew 1:23 even Jesus’ name reveals just who Jesus is within the community: “‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means, ‘God is with us.’”
Where is the risen Jesus? Matthew 18:20 provides an answer: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” The risen Jesus is wherever the community is.
Finally, Jesus’ last words in Matthew’s Gospel (28:20) make a bold promise: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Maybe if the community would simply begin to prayerfully remember Matthew’s Gospel words, it could find its way again. Maybe even the squabbles, scandals and power plays would disappear and Jesus’ mission would again become the community’s anchor.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)