We are creatures of habit, easily settling into routines without thinking much of their substance, and therefore need to remind ourselves of some basic truths concerning how we live our Faith. One of those basic Truths is one we can easily overlook in the hecticness of our daily lives as we attempt to serve God and love others. I am speaking of the Truth that is easily covered over with our pride—a pride that often says, “Look what I did,” or “I did it my way.” I am speaking of the Truth that nothing happens without God willing it to happen or without Him allowing it to happen. It is a simple reminder that God is God and I am not. Yes, I am created in His image and likeness and He has given us all dominion over the earth but… Creation continues to be His work, which He accomplishes through us and with us.
St. Mark reminds us of this simple Truth when, after he describes the Ascension of Jesus, he tells us, they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. This should not surprise us since He promised to remain with us.
St. Luke’s description in the Acts of the Apostles is even more poignant. While they were looking intently at the sky as He was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” Just before Jesus left, He gave them His last instruction. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses.” So… why are they standing there looking at the sky?
Next, begins the first novena—nine days of prayer in the upper room with the Blessed Mother—as they await the Holy Spirit, by whose power they will accomplish all the instructions of Jesus. As I said at the start, it is a simple Truth of which we need to remind ourselves often.
Jesus promised to remain with us “till the end of time.” We can recognize His fulfillment of that promise in the Church’s life and in the Sacraments but it is through us and our lives of Faith that He works with us and confirms the word, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to accomplish His mission of mercy and salvation for the whole world.