Appleton, WI

Homily Connect May 16: Don’t Just Stand There!

Scripture: Acts 1:1-11, Mark 16:15-20

Again, Rev. Malcom Guite – A Sonnet on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centered now, and sings.
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we ourselves become his cloud of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed.

My Dad

  • Was a hard worker
  • As a teenager I worked on his homebuilding crew – I was scrawny, not strong
  • 6:00am – “Billy up and at em!” (Was it “Up and Adam”) A funny
  • Dad’s on the job sayings (most cannot be mentioned) “Don’t just stand there, do something!”
  • I was dragging at the end of the day

My Dad and the Ascension

  • I hear my dad in the messengers of the Lord
  • “People of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?”
  • No Time to Waste
  • Friends and followers of Jesus are vitally needed to spread the Good News
  • Now is the age of the Holy Spirit which Jesus inaugurated to bring about the growth of the church-adding believers to its family
  • And Jesus is still counting on us-his companions to do the work of spreading his love
  • Yes, the heart of Jesus sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight/whilst we ourselves become a cloud of witnesses

The Great Commission in Mark

  • Urges his disciples to “go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”
  • We are Jesus’ witnesses today
  • Saint Pope Paul VI said the world certainly needs teachers, but those teachers need to be witnesses

How Do We Give Witness

  • That Jesus is at the center of our lives
  • Are our words/actions charged with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, generosity?
  • Do we reverence the divine in every person?
  • Do we stand on the side of right and speak true words?
  • Civil Rights Leader, John Lewis “Stand up. Speak up. Speak out.”

Don’t Just Stand There

  • Say or do something
  • Jesus is counting on us-He will not be known, if we do not make him known
  • Activism on our part is needed today-We need to proclaim the Good News

One More Thought for Consideration

  • There is value in “Don’t say or do something, just stand there.”
  • Our actions always need to be grounded in our contemplation
  • We need to connect to the Lord in stillness and silence
  • Contemplation is prayer and prayer is like breathing
  • Service without prayer can be a way to just feel good about yourself
  • A prayer without action can be a way to escape from our responsibility to build Jesus’ Kingdom by living his Words of peace, justice, forgiveness and joy
  • We are witnessing contemplatives and contemplative witnesses for our Lord Jesus

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Readings and/or homily?
  • What does Jesus at the center your life look like to you?
  • How do you witness Jesus’ presence there in your everyday life?
  • How do you make Jesus known, by “Not just standing there?”
  • What are the challenges (and gifts) of “Not just standing there?”

Live Connected

Prayerfully consider how God might be nudging you to “Stand up. Speak up. Speak out”
this week (even in the smallest matter) in order to build the Kingdom. Be Brave!