Don’t just stand there… (June 1, 2014)

A friend would often say, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” It was his way of pointing out that we should not spend life sitting on a fence. We have to make choices. We have to decide which way we are going to go and that decision flows from our love – hopefully of God – but too often it is love of self that impels our decisions and choices. After Jesus ascends to heaven the angel asks the apostles, “Why are you standing there looking at the sky?” Indecision can be an unwillingness to accept the responsibilities of life or it can be part of a discernment process, a listening for God’s will and to know his desires. It can also be hesitancy of fear. In this case, are the apostles going to follow Jesus’ command to go and make “disciples of all nations” or will they go back to their fishing boats, keeping the last three years as fond memories of a time when Hope was alive and life was full of promise. My friend’s advice was an admonition to avoid the anxiety of indecision. The proper response to anxiety is prayer and that is what the apostles did. They retreated to the upper room to pray and wait for the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit. Yes, they were afraid but prayer is also a response to fear. Mary was with them. They prayed for nine days. It was the first Novena.

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