Photo: Artit Fongfung /

A Dominican Sister reflects on the scriptures of Ascension Sunday

Acts 1:1-11    Ephesians 1:17-23    Mark 16:15-20

Happy feast day!

We remember when Jesus went up, the apostles were getting ready to go out, and we are invited to go into our hearts to remember and to celebrate that we have been, are, and will be sent by Jesus to do the work of the Spirit.

In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles we hear two men say to the apostles, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?”  Jesus had left and the apostles didn’t know what to do. They have heard Jesus’ words but they just cannot see themselves doing anything without the leadership of Jesus.  I think the two men are there to shake up the apostles, to get them to move, to stop looking up and start looking around to see what they can do to spread the good news of God’s reign.

The apostles were challenged to look inside of themselves and remember what Jesus had taught them. Do we sometimes “stand looking up at the sky” wondering what we can do? Let us open our eyes and see who among us is in need and respond in whatever way we can: a smile, a word of encouragement, a helping hand, a prayer. In his letter to the Ephesians Paul reminds us that we have been called by God, and we have been given gifts, not for ourselves but gifts to be used so we can build up the Body of Christ.

In the gospel Jesus tells us, “Signs will accompany those who believe.” What are some of the signs that show we are witnesses to Jesus? We speak of love not hate; we tell the truth, not lies; we are sisters and brothers to everyone, not only those who look and speak like us; we care for all of creation for the good of everyone. We have not been called just once. We are called every day to preach the good news in whatever way we can and every day we are given the gifts that we need.

Today is also Mothers’ Day. Meister Eckhart, a Dominican mystic and preacher who was born in the 12 hundreds, said some very insightful things about motherhood. He said, “We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly but does not take place within myself…. What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I also do not give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time. When the Son of God is begotten in us.”

Let us give thanks for our mothers who have given us life, who have nurtured us, to whom we owe our lives.  Today And let us, like Meister Eckhart, give birth to Jesus each day.

Mary Keefe, OP