“No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master.” (MT 10: 24-25)
Our Lord wants for us to be like Him. He was never jealous of His authority and powers and shared this with His apostles. Today, He sharing with us the same love and protection for all lives on earth. We received His very concern to protect marriages and the quality of spouses’ lives. We can imagine that He is always behind us, supporting our activity and smiling, seeing how much we do for others.
“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of God rests upon you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” (MT 10: 16)
Our Lord inspires us to be very creative when we are serving others. It is good to remember that we live not only in a nice environment, supporting our family life fully, but also in an environment that is against marriage, devotional life, and generosity. Sometimes we need to change strategies. When we see a sad child it is good to take them to the movie for comedy, instead of giving them advice like: don’t be sad. Or take for a long walk a child who is on very high energy.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you to all truth and remind you of all I told you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.” (MK 16: 19-20)
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, a very emotional moment when Our Lord left His Apostles and “was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.” Mission completed, time to be back with the Father and the Holy Spirit. But Our Lord, Who is love, can’t leave us, because love connects persons, make them united, even when separated; parents “feel” connected with their children always, doesn’t matter where they live, spouses love each other even in long-distance… With His Ascension, we receive much more: Our Lord works with us and confirms our words through accompanying signs, and we will receive the Holy Spirit soon to support us.
“Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” (JN 6: 27)
It is good to remember that our work has a bigger meaning. It is not only to have “the food,” but is also “for eternal life.” We must put all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength to add as many values as possible to change this world (my profession, career, and service) into a better place for everybody.
“One does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” (LK 24: 39)
We know how important our bodies are—to express our love and express our bond, love, and relationship. Our children depend totally on our protection, on our gentleness, and on our affirmations. Our spouses need to be in touch with us. Our Lord comes to us in Holy Communion in His body; whenever we come to the Holy Mass, we can hear priests saying: “the Body of Christ,” and we answer: Amen—“it is true,” “let it be so.” And He comes to our hearts and stays there to be connected with us and to be united with us.
“Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us; make our hearts burn while you speak to us.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.” (MT 1: 16)
So simple, modest title: “the husband of Mary,” and with this beginning, the history of our redemption started. When we recognize our identity, when we do everything possible to fulfill this vocation, miracles are coming because it is not about us and what we can do, but about God, His love to us, Who ga us vocation, the mission to discover and to complete. When we do our part, God’s part comes. And makes simple things universal, outstanding, and beyond our imagination.
“Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord; they never cease to praise you.” (Verse before the Gospel)
“Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.” (MK 9: 5)
“They were conversing with Jesus.” It looks like it will be our lifestyle in Heaven—conversing with Jesus, like Elijah and Moses.? Also, Our Lord is speaking with His Father, speaking, not praying. Today God asks not to converse with His Son but to listen to Him. Maybe time for conversation will come later?
“From the shining cloud, the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” (Verse before the Gospel)
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (MK 2: 17)
Whenever Our Lord sees weakness or sin, He comes with support. If we are focused on seeing our spouses’ mistakes and sins, naturally, Jesus will leave us (as “those who are well) and will go to our spouses (because He “did not come to call the righteous but sinners”). Our idea of extreme ownership helps us recognize our own mistakes, our own sin, and protects our relationship from our spouses’ idealistic vision.
“The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him.” (MK 2: 4)
Sometimes it also happens with our spouses and us. We are “unable to get near”; maybe stress at work, maybe our last “conversation” or his night rituals (not with me, but with a bottle of wine and TV) or … many other things. But “unable” doesn’t mean impossible; it just means—be more creative. There is always something not conventional (like coming by a roof, not by doors); it is only a matter of our creativity and determination. When we really want to “get near,” our hearts will lead us to how to do it.
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst, and God has visited his people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” (MT 10: 22)
We have no idea when “the end” will happen, so probably the only way to “endures to the end” is to reach every end with endures: end of the day, end of the training, end of the conversation, end of the getting up punctually, etc. We want to be on time—someday in the future, able to make 50 push-ups—maybe in 3 years, emotionally very stable—we dream about it, but we do not create any vision, we have no real motives and no strategy what to do today. The lack of “endures to the end” starts with no vision for the begging. Collins called it “start with the vision of the end,” we call it in our Programs—stop correcting your spouse—start with crystal clear vision for yourself: what kind of spouse you want to be for your spouse, take extreme ownership for your relationship, love your spouse unconditionally and “whoever endures to the end will be saved;” God will help him/her in everything.
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD: the LORD is God and has given us light.” (Gospel Acclamation)