Grace to you and Happy Ascension Thursday!
In today’s reflection, I share the need to wait in order to receive the graces to lead God’s way. I draw inspiration from the last words of the Lord Jesus Christ as he ascended to heaven (Luke24:50-53).
The Gospel of Luke reports: “Then he led them [the disciples] out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God” (Lk 24:50-53).
The Lord never ceases blessing us. When he calls, he blesses. When he commissions us to do something, he blesses us with the graces to perform those roles effectively.
As the Lord blesses us, he also asks us to wait on him all the way. We don’t run faster than the Lord. We don’t assume it is our doing. We don’t want to lead the Lord. We want the Lord to lead us.
With the Lord’s calling, there is a constant exhortation to trust in providence. This trust holds us back from excessive zeal or growing impatient because we want to see immediate outcome. I know we want to see results right away. But the Lord’s path isn’t simply about results. It is about fidelity. As one of the famous lines of Saint (Mother) Teresa Calcutta suggests, it isn’t “about your success but about your faithfulness.”
We could learn from the early disciples how to respond when the Lord says, wait. Their response was worship. Their heart was full of joy. The blessings of God and our response in worship fill us with immeasurable joy.
To wait is to live the life of worship. We don’t wait aimlessly; nor allow our minds to be preoccupied with empty and vain thoughts. We wait in worship.
In worship we wait on the Lord and we revere his complex plans and providence. In worship, we allow ourselves to be drawn into the divine way of being. We live in the now of divine providence. That is why many times in worship, we lose the sense of time, having been drawn into timelessness in a brief moment. To wait on the Lord is to be at his service in worship. It is to trust in divine providence.
We wait to see, to encounter the glory. We wait for the fulfillment of the promise and the maturation of the blessing of which the Lord has given.
The waiting is the story of the Christian spiritual life, pilgrims, in a nutshell. Our blessings don’t take on a mere icing on the cake experience. Our blessings mature and produce much joy as we wait on the Lord. They flourish as we do exactly what the Lord asks. They blossom as we respond in worship.
In our blessings are what we have received and what is yet to come. The Lord does not give us mere perishable things. Whatever the Lord gives us— shelter, food, friends, family, faith, etc.—they are all geared towards the glory to come. In divine blessing is provident hope. We wait with the blessings we have received in hope for many more blessings to come.
Ascension feast is a celebration of this hope in Christ. Henceforth, we wait. We wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit descends in the waiting heart, the heart attuned to worship. We who have received the Spirit wait in anticipation of many more of the graces of this Spirit as we experience the fullness of glory to come.
Therefore, we wait in hope in Christ. This hope does not fail us (Rm 5:5). We know for sure, the Lord whom we love and worship, ascended so we can be welcomed in the home of the Father. We wait. We worship.
Praying for the grace of living hope. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
[Ascension Thursday C: Acts 1: 1-11; Eph 1:17-23; Lk 24:46-53]
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.