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THE LAST WILL OF JESUS

FOR SUNDAY 05.12


This week, we celebrate the solemnity of the Lord's Ascension, concluding the Easter season. Through the resurrection of Jesus, we have received new life in Him. The Ascension ensures that our redemption is permanent because Jesus, while in a human body, ascended into heaven and assumed all power. Jesus remains one of us, yet He is also God. There is no one who can undo His work or separate us from the destiny we share with Christ. Before His departure to the Father, Jesus took specific steps to ensure the continuation of His earthly mission. He "wrote a testament." He lifted the veil on the reality of the Kingdom of God and invited people to follow Him. Jesus equipped His disciples and blessed them, commanding them to proclaim the Good News to all creation, which are key themes throughout His mission.


He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. 


MARK 16, 15-20 (NIV)


As we commemorate the Ascension of the Lord, we are reminded of Jesus' testament, which says: "Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel." This mission has been fulfilled. The Messiah gave His life for us, granting us forgiveness of sins and the chance for eternal happiness. To partake in the fruits of redemption, one must believe. Those who reject faith may miss out on salvation. We trust in God's mercy, but remember that God does not break anyone's freedom, even when one makes the tragic choice to reject Christ. Therefore, proclaiming the Good News about the Savior is a mandate for all Christians, so that every person can consciously choose between eternal life or death. The Apostles fulfilled Jesus' testament, but what about us? Should we abandon our tasks, stand at street corners, and preach the Gospel?

 

The task may seem daunting. We live in an era where digital communication and moral relativism obscure the truth. In such times, Jesus' words seem more relevant than ever. Our task as Christians is clear—not only to speak about the Gospel but to live it daily. In a world saturated with information, the real challenge is not just to talk about the Gospel but to live a life that is itself the Gospel. The early disciples supported each other with signs and miracles, such as healing or speaking in many foreign languages. Today, these signs take the form of patience, fidelity to Gospel values, and acts of love that draw others to Christ. Indeed, patience with some neighbors nowadays might border on the miraculous!

 

Paul, in the fifth chapter of the Letter to the Galatians, describes the fruits of the Spirit: joy, peace, generosity, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These fruits are signs of the Spirit's presence in our lives and should be visible in our relationships with others and in our minor or key life decisions. This is the true testimony of our faith. In the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven." This passage comes from the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus teaches about true piety and warns against empty words without corresponding actions.

 

In the face of contemporary phenomena such as loneliness, pervasive lies, or a lack of empathy, our lives should provide a clear testimony. In the third chapter of the Second Letter to the Corinthians, Apostle Paul states that we are "Christ's letter" known and read by all, listen to how beautifully it sounds: "For it is clear that you are Christ’s letter, ministered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." In practice, this means that our way of handling difficulties, forgiveness, and love are "read" by our contemporaries. Simply put: we are always being scrutinized. Can this be burdensome? For those whose lives are the Gospel, it will be... merely light luggage.

 

In the fourth chapter of the Letter to the Ephesians, Apostle Paul also warns against being "children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness." Our daily decisions and interactions, both online and offline, should boldly but carefully reflect the depth and authenticity of our faith. Our life every day should be an expression of the love that transforms the world. Are we ready to live in such a way that our lives themselves attract others to Christ, not just through grand words but through daily acts of love and understanding?

 

Let us commit to each of us becoming a living Gospel, read by everyone we meet. May our faith not be just words, but a life that testifies to God's love. Let our presence in both the digital and real worlds always be infused with the spirit of Christ, leading others to the truth that liberates and transforms.

 

May God bless us all.


 

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