June 1 2014
During Mass a priest shocked his congregation when he announced that he had been reassigned to a new parish. After the service, a very distraught lady came to the priest with tears in her eyes, "Oh, Father Ray, we are going to miss you so much. We don't want you to leave!" The kind hearted priest patted her hand and said "Now, now, Carolyn, don't carry on. The priest who takes my place might be even better than me".
"Yeah", she said, with a tone of disappointment in her voice, "That's what they said the last time too . . .”
In the Gospel of this Sunday, the Lord commands his friends: “Go therefore and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them…teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” How far did his friends go? Not really far. James got killed right in Jerusalem just a few years after the Ascension. Peter and Paul went around Asia Minor and finally ended in Rome. The legends said Thomas got to India; Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Marta sailed to France. We do not have any record of other apostles, but, do you know how many Christians there are in the world and how many countries have Christians now?
According to a reliable source, there are 33% of 7 billion people in the world are Christian and every country has some Christians. It’s very much like a relay race: one Christian passes the baton to the next; one pope dies, another continues; one priest moves and another comes; one parent finishes his/her term, and a child carries on the heritage; and all are working for the Lord. We have not finished the race yet since there are so many people still need to be baptized and taught all the teachings of Jesus. Pray for the missionaries and pray for the Church that one day the Lord will make all of us “ascend” into his glorious heaven.