(Ascension was actually on Thursday, but we celebrate it today. With and/or in lieu of Seventh Sunday of Easter, I’m not really sure.)
“Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?”
So say the two men in white garments who appear suddenly, just after Christ has ascended into heaven. They go on to say that this Jesus will return the same way. This is from the first reading, from Acts. It’s mirrored by the Gospel reading, which is from St. Mark and describes pretty much the same scene, but without the snarky angels.
But I love the snarky angels. Because, really, men of Galilee, just what are you doing just staring up at the sky like dolts? There’s work to be done, down here. The Holy Spirit is coming, (that’ll be next week, at Pentacost), and we’ve all got things we need to do with that. Or, as St. Paul says in today’s epistle:
[G]race was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God
So the Kingdom of God is here. It’s here now. And we’ve got a whole lotta work to do, to make it like it needs to be. Some of us are apostles, like he says. Others are prophets. And some of us are even database managers.
But see those people over there? They’re hungry. They’re our brothers and sisters and they need food. And these other people here? They’re homeless and they need a roof over their heads. These are the things we need to work on, right now.