“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
Today is the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension. On that day, Jesus took His followers up the mountain and told them goodbye. He said that He was leaving them and that He had one more job to do: to prepare a place for them. He also told them that His job was now their job.
That left them afraid and confused. How could he leave them like that? What were they going to do? How could they possibly do what He had been doing?
The answer? The Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that He would send “an advocate” that would give them everything that they needed in order to get the job done. Jesus fulfilled that promise with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. We will celebrate that feast next Sunday.
Jesus told His followers that the mission belonged to them. They may have worried about how it would get done; but, with the help of the Holy Spirit, anything would be possible.
For me, this message rings out loud and clear as I ask myself how the mission will get done in my own life. Today is not only the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension, it also happens to be the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood thirty-four years ago.
I have been the director of a summer camp for several years with hundreds of children and a young adult staff seven weeks each summer. I have been a full-time instructor in a Catholic high school. I have been a chaplain at a Boy’s Home. I have been an inner city pastor. I have been a chaplain at a maximum security prison and moderate security prison. I have been a pastor in a rural parish. Finally, I have been the pastor in one of the diocese’s largest parishes with one of the largest grade schools.
How was I going to be able to do my job? Certainly not on my own! I did not and do not have everything necessary to perform all that is required of me. And what is necessary does not come with length of days at a place or with advanced age. What is necessary comes freely from the Holy Spirit. I received what I needed all because I said yes.
Do not be afraid about being ill-equipped to do the work God has in store for you. Just say yes. God will help you.
FAITH ACTION: Ask the Lord to give you the grace that you need to be enthusiastic in your response to do your part in fulfilling His mission.