Some weeks are more crowded than others! Sometimes it happens with Liturgical weeks too. We can feel, just get on with it which was, perhaps, what Jesus was gently saying to the Apostles as he disappeared from sight and left them “still staring into the sky”. No jet trails to indicate where He had gone.
So to set our scene; we have Ascension, Pentecost and the Australian feast of our patroness, Mary Help of Christians. We are also called to honour and work through, yet again, the teachings in ‘Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ reflection and teachings. Such questions the Pope raises were not on the minds of the Apostles as they headed back to Jerusalem. ‘Care for our Common Home’ from their point of view was not an issue, even though their methods of fighting over centuries had produced more than a number of deserted areas and more than one dead oasis by 33 CE.
The waiting…the not knowing what was going to happen…what did being baptised with the Holy Spirit mean? One good thing…this time they seemed to do what Jesus had asked them to do, they stayed in Jerusalem and their presence there, aided by the Spirit, sanctified the place…conveniently forgotten in these days of yet another terrible situation in Jerusalem.
“It is better that I go away” or words to that effect, said Jesus. Then the Holy Spirit will come. So we don’t need the face to face presence of Jesus…but we do need the activity of the Holy Spirit. We need the strength of the Holy Spirit to put into practise the teachings of Jesus, particularly the call to love one another. Our job is to bring healing of bodies and souls as he did to our brothers and sisters and increasingly now in our time, to our Mother Earth.
We, too, need to “return to Jerusalem”, to ponder the world around us. To rethink the teachings of Jesus and the updated commentary of Pope Francis.
Let us all find time this week to take a break and await the Holy Spirit to activate us.
A word from St Francis of Assisi may help:
“Praise be to you, my Lord, through our sister, Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruits with coloured flowers and herbs”.
(The Canticle of Creation…St Francis of Assisi)