Saturday, June 4, 2011

Seventh Sunday of Easter Year A: Reflections- Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo

Seventh Sunday of Easter Year A: Reflections- Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Acts 1:12-14; Ps 27:1, 4, 7-8; 1 Pt 4:13-16 and John 17:1-11a

Waiting and Praying in the Upper Room

The Ascension of Christ is celebrated by some dioceses today. Already we joyfully celebrated ours here on Thursday. We saw in our Bible reflection and sharing that although Christ has departed, or has been lifted up, he remains with us in the tabernacle (Jn 12:32). He remains with us in the Holy Eucharist. He is with us as we read the Bible. He is with as we turn to say “hello” to our neighbors, whom we are encourage to love. He is with us in the songs we join the choir to sing, in our hearts that our disposed to listen to the sermons, in our friends, in our church and family members, in our children, husbands and wives. Jesus will always be there with and for us till the end of time (Matt 28:20).

Sometimes this is hard for us to understand. When I was a little child I would cry out my eyes because mom was leaving home to work or do grocery for our dinner. Waiting for her to return was always painful. But it took me a while to realize the importance of waiting, and that unless she goes shopping our dinner will be incomplete, and there will be no milk for breakfast.

 The readings of the liturgy of today reflect the Church waiting in prayers for the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  The Spirit that comes with peace, love, serenity, gentleness, grace and courage for our Christian journeys. Imagine the Eleven Apostles, including Mary the mother of Christ, his friends, brothers and sisters who had gathered in prayer in that upper room (Acts 1:12-14), today.  Without prayer it would have been very difficult for them to handle the “seeming absence of Christ in their midst,” the entire paschal mysteries.

Christ himself who was in deep union with his Father knew the journey was not always going to be easy for his post- ascension disciple and church.  The more reasons in his High Priestly Prayer of today’s Gospel he committed our well being and faith into God’s hands. He prayed that through the gift of the Holy Spirit each of us may be brought into that kind of deep union and friendship that he had shared with God His Father.

 A union achieved only through prayers.  With prayer everything is possible and every gifts of the Holy Spirit, (Isaiah 11:2-3; Galatians 5:22) are achievable.   In our decisions and choice making, be it that of the college to go to, a particular doctor to visit, suggestions to  make at family and executive meetings, which mass to attend or what menu to choose from, a particular book to read, movie to watch or friends to hang out with, our advocate and counselor in some of these instances, for a child of God, we pray, would always be the Holy Spirit.

At this Mass, remember this is our upper Room, let  us re-dedicate our life’s mysteries into God’s hands. Let us imitate our Mother Mary and the apostles, who waited patiently and prayerfully for the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.