This weekend we celebrate the Feast of The Ascension. Originally this was celebrated on Thursday of this week but, like a lot of the Holy Days, it was moved to the Sunday in the belief it might be easier for people to attend Church, spend some time in prayer and reflect on this moment.
The Feast marks a milestone in the Lord’s earthly ministry and that moment when he entrusts the handing on of the Gospel message to his disciples and all who would follow them, right down to this moment in time.
There’s a story told that on the evening of this day, when the Lord was in Heaven and tended to by the Angels he was taken to be bathed. When his outer garments were removed, the angels were horrified to see the wounds on his body and asked what had happened. He told them that he had tried to tell people of the Father’s love for them and his desire for holiness on earth. Some, he explained, got this straight away and changed their ways but others refused to believe or to accept his message and presence in their midst. Some had turned against him, maltreated him and had him executed. Before that, he told them, he had been subjected to torture and ridicule. The Angels were upset and asked what would happen to the world now. He reassured them that it would be okay. He told them he had appointed the Apostles and that they would continue to spread the message. They would tell others and through this ongoing telling, the story of God’s love would be spread globally.
One Angel looked at Jesus and asked, “But what happens if they stop telling the story?” Silence fell on all. Jesus looked shocked and saddened. He turned to the Angel and said. “Ah no, that could never happen”. A pause and a question followed: “Could it?” …….
The question remains! Could it happen that the story will stop being told? Certainly there seems to be many who would like that to be the case. The story is now with us – its telling is in our hands and on our tongues …..