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Last Saturday, the ecclesiastical province of New York, where Ogdensburg Diocese is the part of it, celebrated the feast of the Ascension of the Lord.
When it came time for his ascension, Jesus knew that parting would be difficult – for him, and for those he loved. It was just a few weeks after all that went down in Jerusalem, from triumphant entry into the Holy City to an even more remarkable exit from the tomb. We can imagine that they each felt doubt, but also deep sadness, fear even anger. Jesus knew that it wasn’t going to be easy for them, so he gave them something to do. It was what would become known as the “great commission,” the call to ministry for the men and women who were about to lead a community and to build a church.
Among those disciples were brothers and sons who have left fathers and mothers to follow a teacher and prophet. Among them were mothers and fathers who worried about their daughters back home. They, like us, worried about divisions among those in their communities all about leaders who were making those divisions worse.
When we set those first disciples apart from us, we are then able to shirk from the responsibility of the commission Jesus offered to all of us. When his disciples stood on the mountain full of fear and anxiety, doubt and rage, he told them to get out of their heads, to go and find others to build a beloved community, not only in the next town but in all nations.
And now when we all in this time should stay at home due to Covid-19, he is telling us to do the same to reach out others who are afraid, anxious and skeptical. Just to make a phone call, to write letter or just send email or send SMS to those you know simply to say” Hello”, “how are you”, “hope you are doing well.”
Fr. Jonas msc