When you were a child and you embarked with your family on a vacation – to the beach or the mountains – or to a fun place like Disneyland, don’t you remember asking your dad, “Are we there yet?” If you were like me and my brothers that question got asked early and often. We knew that something wonderful was at the end of the line, but we drove mom and dad crazy getting there.
This Thursday marks the Day of the Ascension on the liturgical calendar: the day that Jesus was taken up to heaven in a cloud, leaving his followers gawking upward. They began to murmur among themselves as to whether the promise that He would come back in the same manner made them think that he might be coming to restore the Kingdom of Israel – the way they heard about it in their Jewish history classes. Of course, this means the reign of King David. The risen Jesus said “Not so fast.” You have to wait – wait until the Holy Spirit comes with power; when this happens all Heaven will break loose and you will be His witnesses to the end of the earth.
On Sunday we will celebrate the Day of Pentecost, when the Spirit came upon the disciples (learning ones) and instantly turned them into apostles (sent ones). As we continue our reading in the Book of Acts it becomes clear what God’s plan turned out to be: the reason Jesus came was to save the world – the world! This means Jews, gentiles, pagans, and anyone else you can think of. Amazing!