Archive for the ‘Ascension of the Lord’ Category

No Back-Up Plan 5-28-2017

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

There is an ancient legend about the ascension of Jesus into heaven. According to the legend, when Jesus reached heaven, his body still showed the wounds of his crucifixion.
His hands and feet still bore the prints from the nails. His side bore the mark from the spear. His back bore the stripes from the whip, and his head bore the wounds from the thorns.
When the people in heaven saw these marks, they were astounded to see how much he had suffered. Then the angel Gabriel rose up and said to Jesus;
“Lord, how greatly you suffered on earth! Do all the people on earth know and appreciate how much you went through for them and how much you love them?”
Jesus replied; “Oh, no! Only a handful of people in Palestine know that, the rest haven’t even heard of me.” They don’t know who I am. They don’t know how much I suffered, and how much I love them.”
Gabriel was shocked to hear this. Then he said to Jesus:
“How will the rest of the people on earth ever learn about your suffering and your love?” Jesus said; “Just before I left, I told Peter, James, and John, and a few of their friends to tell the rest of the world for me. They will tell as many people as they can. Those people in turn, will tell other people. In that way, the whole world will eventually learn about my love for them.”
Gabriel looked even more confused now. He knew how fickle people are. He knew how forgetful they are. He knew how prone to doubt they are. So he turned to Jesus and said:
“But Lord, what if Peter, James and John grow tired and frustrated? What if they forget about you? What if they begin to have doubts about you? Didn’t you take these things into account? Don’t you have a back-up plan just in case?”
Jesus answered: “I did take all these things into account, but I decided against a back-up plan. This is the only plan I have. I’m counting on Peter, James, and John not to let me down.”
Many centuries later, Jesus still has no other plan. He counted on Peter, James and John and they didn’t let him down. He counted on the people they told, and they didn’t let him down. And now Jesus counts on us.
In his book “The Song of the Bird”, Anthony de Mello tells this story. He puts it in the first person to give it added impact. He says:
On the street I saw a small girl cold and shivering in a dress,
with little hope for a decent meal. I became angry and said to
God, ‘Why did you permit this?’
For a while God said nothing. That night he replied quite
suddenly, “I certainly did something about it. I made you, I made
you!”
Let’s close with a prayer:
Lord Jesus, on this feast of your ascension into heaven,
give us new eyes to see your face
in the faces of those who are in need.

Give us new ears to hear your voice
in the voices of those who cry out in pain.
Give us new tongue to tell your story
to those who have never heard it.
Give us new hearts to share your love
with those who have not yet experienced it.
And Lord thank you for counting on us.
We will try our best!