Reflection for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, by S. Bernice Stenger OSF

Reflection for May 12, 2013
Seventh Sunday of Easter

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Second Reading: Eph 1: 17-23
Gospel: Lk 24:46-53

As we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven we are reminded that we are not left alone. The Holy Spirit is promised to come upon us to strengthen us, to give us wisdom, insight and understanding. In the recent election of Pope Francis, I believe we witnessed the Holy Spirit’s presence very tangibly.

In our reading from Acts for the Ascension, we hear how Jesus presented himself to the early Christians during the forty days after his Resurrection, assuring them of the kingdom and asking them, and us, to be witnesses to the truth of everlasting life. In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we heard the prayer “may the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory, and what is his inheritance among the holy ones…”

We are to be witnesses to the good news; we all are called to live the Gospel, to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to be at work in us. We are to be Christ’s presence on Earth, to live simply, to act justly, to love tenderly all of creation. In and through Pope Francis we are invited to care for the lowly, the poor, to be persons of peace, to respect the environment and to walk side by side, being Christ in our world and in the universe. We are blessed by Christ as we remember his ascension into heaven–we are his manifestation of love and compassion in our world.

O God, we thank you for making us your Image and Likeness. We thank you for calling us to be your Presence of goodness, love and compassion in our world, our universe. We thank you for Pope Francis who lives your Gospel and leads us. Amen.

Bernice Stenger, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

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