The Ascension of Jesus is one of the important celebrations in the Catholic Church. And this year, the Gospel from which it was taken became even more special as I heard it not just once but thrice. And on those three occasions, God had different but equally important messages.
The first encounter was yesterday during the anticipated mass at the MMLA. In his homily, Msgr. Albert Songco said that the Lord's Ascension is the end of His public ministry and the beginning of ours. We are the disciples whom God commanded to go out and proclaim the Good News. It is our mission to make God known to people. Through our baptism, we are called to share and continue His ministry.
The second time that I heard that same Gospel was at the 5pm mass today at Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish. My parents requested me and my brother to be there to witness their renewal of vows. They attended the SangPuso Seminar at the parish and as part of their activities, they will renew their wedding vows. During Fr. Lito Jopson's homily, he declared that when the Lord ascended to the heavens, He blessed His disciples with the grace that they need to fulfill the mission entrusted to them. As we celebrate World Communications Day, Fr. Lito reminded and challenged us to see technology as a blessing from the Lord. It is and should be a tool for evangelization. Fr. Lito stressed that we ought to use the power of media and technology to spread the Good News and to make more people experience Christ.
The third time was at the 6:30pm mass still at Rosario. The SangPuso Seminar finished a bit late and so they weren't able to catch the 5pm mass. I chose to stay because I really want to witness my parents' renewal of vows. The mass celebrant was still Fr. Lito, but amazingly, I heard another message from him. He said that Jesus stayed for 40 more days after His resurrection to teach His apostles about the kingdom of God. The apostles, in return, through the power of the Holy Spirit, proclaimed the Good News to the farthest land they can ever reach. Jesus was only 33 years when He died but He wasted not a single moment in His life. Fr. Lito then asked, "How are we spending our days? Do we participate in the proclamation of God's kingdom? Is our life a good news?" Fr. Lito concluded by inviting everyone to take a moment of silence. "Consider silence that we may hear who is speaking the truth. God is speaking in the silence of our hearts. The cross is silent, but it speaks a lot about God's great love. Give God space. Allow Him to speak to us."
Every year, Ascension Sunday is being celebrated by the Catholic Church, but this year, The Year of the Mission, I believe God has delivered His message to me very clearly and in a very personal way. With all those crystal clear messages, how can I ever miss the voice of He who calls me lovingly each and every single day? How can I ever say no to His invitation? How can I ever give up when faced with difficulties?
It was not I. It is He. And through Him, I can. :)