Homily – May 13, 2018

Two American presidents have made outlandish statements that proved to be totally untrue; they claimed a mission accomplished when in reality it was from being so.

Today we celebrate that moment in time when the risen Christ truly claimed, mission accomplished. Jesus returns to the Father, his mission is finished. Through his passion, death and resurrection Jesus reconciled the human family and God, making peace through the blood of the cross.

Before Jesus returned to his Father he gave the apostles their mission, a mission which is also our mission; ‘go into the entire world and proclaim the good news to all creation.’ Our mission is still a work in progress.

Ours has begun. Jesus told the apostles they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit and they were to his witness to the very ends of the earth. Their mission, our mission is still a work in progress.

Someone once wrote that our primary task, our primary mission, is not to do good works but to believe, to trust in God’s love for us revealed in suffering Jesus Christ. Once we embrace this wonder, Christ loved me and gave his life for me, then we are empowered and sent to love others.

Our unaccomplished mission is to live this Mass outside these walls in the lives we live, the work we do, the service we give and in the prayers we pray. We pray the words of mission every Sunday. The question we have to ask ourselves is, ’do we leave them here like the hymn books we use, or do we take these prayers with home us and try to live them, outside these walls?

Do we say only the good things people need to hear, things that will really help them? Do we talk to others with respect and encouragement? Do we challenge racial or social slurs? Do we defend men and women when we hear them stereotyped by people who diminish their dignity? Are we there for someone in need, family members or friends or total strangers?

Do we reach out to family members or friends who have wronged us, let us down, or do we wish them gone from our lives? Are we thoughtful about the damage our lifestyles, our consumerism, our wastefulness has on the health and wellbeing on the planet earth, our home? Do we give a thought to the homeless men and women in Toronto, or the men and women looking for work, or the men and women who are cheated out of a living wage? How do support families who come from away seeking freedom and security from persecution or civil strife?

As we celebrate this feast of the Ascension, the return of Jesus to the glory of the Father – mission accomplished – we pray for the strength and generosity to accept our mission – to preach the gospel as we live our ordinary lives in our ordinary way – and when necessary may we use words.