"absence makes the heart grow ______"
"No sooner had He said this than He was lifted up before their eyes in a cloud which took Him from their sight." —Acts 1:9
For almost forty years, a good Catholic father told his children to live for Jesus and to love Jesus especially by going to Mass — not only on Sundays but daily, or as often as possible. However, although some of his children went to Mass on Sundays, they never made the decision to live for Jesus. Then the father said again what he had said for all those years, but this time he died. The children could no longer so easily dismiss or ignore their father's words. One of his sons gave his life to Jesus and centered his life on the Eucharist.
For many years, Jesus has told His disciples many things. We are to:
- downsize our lifestyles and choose poverty (Mt 5:3),
- love and forgive our enemies (see Mt 5:44),
- deny ourselves and take up our crosses each day (Lk 9:23),
- wash the feet of others in sacrificial service (see Jn 13:5ff),
- devote ourselves to God's word and the communal life (Acts 2:42), and
- spend our lives in being witnesses for Jesus (Acts 1:8).
Many Christians have ignored these commands of Jesus. However, when Jesus ascended, His disciples could not so easily dismiss His words.
May we receive this grace of the Ascension today. On this third day of the Pentecost novena, may we respond to Jesus' words and take Him seriously.
Prayer: Jesus, may Your ways of being "absent" help me be more present and obedient to You.
Promise: "The Lord continued to work with them." —Mk 16:20
Praise: "God mounts His throne amid shouts of joy; the Lord, amid trumpet blasts. Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our King, sing praise" (Ps 47:6-7).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002