In “Fiddler on the Roof” Tevye is a pious Russian-Jewish peasant who loves to stare up at the sky and argue with God. In one particularly dark moment when everything seems to be going wrong for his family and the Jewish community, Tevye looks to heaven and says, “It’s true we are the Chosen People. But once in a while couldn’t you choose someone else?”
Possibly a similar or even the same question was on the Apostle’s minds as they witnessed the ascension of Jesus.
o They had been chosen by Jesus to be his followers.
o They had listened to his words and watched his miracles.
o They had agonized over and thru his passion and death.
o They rejoiced in his resurrection.
o They received the great commission to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.”
o They watched fearfully as Jesus ascended from their midst into heaven.
Is that all? Convert the entire world? It’s easy to imagine the apostles and disciples looking up to heaven, thinking, “Why us, Lord? Why couldn’t you choose someone else?”
o We, too, have been chosen to follow Jesus.
o We, too, have listened to his words as found in the Bible.
o We, too, have remembered and thought about his death and resurrection.
o We, too, have been sent into the world to proclaim the good news.
o We, too, might think the same thing, “Why us, Lord? Why couldn’t you choose someone else?”
Every Christian, of every place, of every time has the call to share the Good News, even and especially in a place like southern West Virginia. We have prisons, jails, hospitals, and nursing homes filled with people who need the Gospel. There are addicts and alcoholics who long for hope and help. There are many elderly people whose children have moved away from the area. There may be unemployed and underemployed, homeless and helpless who need our encouragement and help.
We share the gospel
o by how we live our lives;
o by how we treat others;
o by sharing with another how God has blessed us in some way;
o by being a volunteer at VBS or Christian Formation;
o by helping someone who has even less than we do;
o by defending the defenseless or speaking against abortion & euthanasia;
o by inviting lapsed Catholics or other friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to come with you to Mass.
Jesus work and mission didn’t end with his ascension. It is the Church’s work and mission; it is our work and mission. Jesus didn’t say,
- “If you don’t mind” or
- “If you feel like it” or
- “If you are comfortable with doing so.”
Jesus commanded, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.”
Remember that God WILL help us.