Lectio Divina: Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. Cycle A

on 22 May, 2020
0
0
0
s2sdefault

Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca (Colombia), Sr. Ana Patricia Vásquez Zapata, May 24, 2020.- “I will be with you always…”.

Lectio Divina 05/24/2020 eng Download

 

GOSPEL

Matthew 28, 16 - 20

For their part, the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain that Jesus had indicated to them.  And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.  Jesus came to them and spoke thus: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

Benjamin West (1738-1820)Benjamin West (1738-1820)

BIBLICAL STUDY

Matthew begins his Gospel announcing the arrival of the promised Emmanuel “God with us”, the one predicted by patriarchs and prophets, the hope of God’s people and closes with the last moments of his Ascension to heaven and his sentence of: “I will be with you…”.

A masterly closing of a God who approaches, descends and becomes one of many, who chooses, prepares and sends, not without first instructing his apostles to entrust them with a very clear mission and to leave them a message of trust in Him.

With this grand finale a new episode in the universal Church opens.  Jesus appears in the center, but the most important thing in this passage is the mission that He himself entrusts to them.  Now they will be the ones who will have to assume the mission of taking the Good News to the world, to become announcers of the Gospel and revealing the mystery of God. 

READING: WHAT DOES THE TEXT SAY? 

In Galilee, where it all began, by the lake.  The appointment on the Mount of Olives where He prayed assiduously with His Father, where He had drops of blood as sweat before being arrested, where He was treated like a thief, like a murderer, and now where He ascends to the Father to be glorified.  Here He ends His ministry on earth to deposit it in the heart of each of His apostles, disciples and followers.  It is the favorable time to make the Church visible as the Mystical Body of Jesus, to be made visible, announced to all people without any distinction so that they in turn become multipliers and realizers of God’s dream: his Kingdom.

The text begins: the apostles went to Galilee…  to the mountain where Jesus had indicated to them to have an encounter with the Risen Jesus, the One Transfigured by the Father.  At the place where he began his mission and called his disciples, he now sends them to be his witnesses to the world and the voice that cries out in the desert to the people.

Jesus walks with his disciples, accompanies them, enables them, loves them and allows them to experience the joy of his Father’s Mercy.  He makes them his disciples in the step-by-step of life and brings them back to the starting point where he appears to them as the Risen One.  There they arrived with doubts, mistreated, disconcerted, tested in their faith, because hope had been wounded.

Those who failed him in the “dark night”, he called back himself.  They are summoned by their Master.

When they saw Him resurrected, the text says:  They fell down, face to the ground: some… “worshipped Him…, recognizing His Lordship, though others there present doubted.  Such was the dimension of the Mystery for such a small heart, that there was only silence…

And he spoke to them in precise, clear, categorical words, driven by the power of the Spirit: “All power is given to me in heaven and on earth…” He speaks with authority given by his Father in heaven as well as on earth, an authority that allows him: Send them… GO, don’t  stay, don’t  stagnate, leave in a hurry, the mission urges them, moves them, uninstalls them, puts them on the way, in departure, in the dynamic of the wayfarer who goes with a message and with a very clear purpose: MAKE… DISCIPLES OF ALL PEOPLE, the near and the far, the enchanted and the disenchanted, to all humanity.  BAPTISING THEM by immersing them in the wáter of the Spirit in the name of the Holy Trinity.

To TEACH them, to sow, to preach, to make the proposal of Jesus and the Kingdom of God a reality. 

He makes them a PROMISE: “… I will be with you every day until the end of the world.”

GO, DO, TEACH THEM. Actions that impel them to be the messengers of His Kingdom.

MEDITATION 

What does this text tell us today?  What does it lead us to?  

It is a short text that requires us to sharpen our senses to learn to see, hear, caress, perceive, taste… What…?

First of all, to see, to contemplate, to discover the Risen Jesus in the daily events of life.  We cannot leave him dead on a cross.  That Jesus who gave his life and died, rose again… today we see him in the Word where he sends his disciples to announce the Good News to all people and make disciples, to baptize them in the name of the Holy Trinity, to teach them.  Today he sends us as bearers of the message of salvation.  He urges us to turn our eyes to heaven where he ascends to know the way and the glorious destiny where God dwells and waits for us.

But, we cannot stay there, it is time to come down from the mountain, to return to reality, to everyday life and to raise our voice, it is time to impregnate our life with the Gospel, from the perspective of the Risen Jesus, to live with meaning every moment and to allow our heart to burn, with a desire for infinity so that our attitudes, thoughts, feelings and dreams are in accordance with the Dream of God in each one of us.  It is not easy, but it is possible.  Because the human heart struggles between what it dreams, what it thinks, what it feels and what it does, but it is possible our being will not rest until it meets its maker face to face.  He promised his disciples: “I will be with you always until the end of the world”, now those same words resound in our being… We should not be afraid, He is faithful and enables us, He gives us the grace to carry out the mission He entrusted to us.

At this moment I meditate and question myself:

  • Have I been attentive to the calls that Jesus has made to me?
  • Have I discovered the Risen Jesus in my life?
  • What is the Lord saying to me today in the face of the reality I am living?
  • Is Jesus, the Lord of my life? Is He the one I worship? 

PRAYER: WHAT DO I/WE SAY TO THE LORD? 

Here I am Lord, to praise You, to bless You, to give glory to Your Holy Name.

To thank You for your great goodness and mercy, because even though You know my fragile clay, You call me again, You look for me and You count on me.

Here I am, Lord, stripped of myself, prostrate at your feet, before your Eucharistic presence.  You my shield, my rampart, You the Rock that saves me.  Give me the grace to recognize you Risen in everyday of my life, in my sisters, in my neighbor, in the face of the one who comes to me and cries out for help…

Thank you, Lord, because you entrust me with a mission and send me to announce what I have seen, felt and heard while walking with you, to raise my voice and tell the world without fear: how my heart burned when you reached out to me and tenderly revealed your love to me. 

CONTEMPLATION: HOW TO INTERIORIZE THE WORD?

I contemplate in silence this Mystery and take delight in it... I let it saturate the depth of my being and let the Words resound within me... I enjoy the rhythm of His perfect closeness:

"I will be with you every day until the end of the world".