It is very stressing to watch the news: crimes, robberies and deaths. If that was not enough, we hear of problems in our government and rumors of war. But if we turn the television off, then we are faced with problems in our families, struggles with our neighbors and our children.
The world needs more prayer than ever. Are you praying? Many of our children have abandoned their faith and are refusing to pray. For them, the world is not safe, yet they don’t find time for prayers.
As we celebrate the ascension of the Lord, we hear Jesus’s promise of being with us always. We also listened to his words as he sent people to all the corners of the world to bring the good news. The disciples spread the good news and then got settled. They built big churches and large communities. The message became a strict order of facts and events and prayers. People lost the passion and the charisma which characterized the message of Jesus. His sermons became dull and his message became symbolic and not necessarily real. Some churches have lost the flame that ignited the Spirit. Some churches are as bored as hell, and the devil is laughing hysterically.
Some church officials have lost their passion for the gospel and their parishioners are not challenging them.
It is time for us to go back to the original message and dust off years of indoctrination and confusion. The message has been lost in the chaos of today’s society. There is a new stress that is killing us: stress of driving around, the stress of being politically correct, the stress of not knowing what to believe any more. We have lost faith.
Those of us who have faith are persecuted and ridiculed even by our own family. ―Why are you praying? We hear often, it’s not going to make a difference, they say.
Have you ever stopped to think about the power of negative thinking? Little by little a negative thought will make us doubt, but only if our faith is weak. Is your faith strong or weak?
The ascension of the Lord reminds us of Jesus’ promises and of our responsibility to share our faith with others. We, those of us with strong faith, have had a personal encounter with the risen Christ. We have heard his words, we have cultivated them in our hearts, we know that he is talking about; we can feel his power rushing through us.
We are the new disciples, the new missionaries, the ones in charge of fighting this chaos that is surrounding us. It is our task to dust off Jesus’ message and bring its meaning back to life. Are you ready for the challenge?
Jesus asked his disciples to go and preach; to go out and teach others, to go and baptize them and nurture them in his name. Can you do that?
The ascension of the Lord is not only a beautiful event; but also a mandate, a commitment, a task; a mission. When Jesus began his ministry, the world was poisoned with hatred and hopelessness. Today, the world is still poisoned, but the difference is that we have a great antidote to fight its poison. Jesus is the antidote and prayer is the way we can heal the world. Let us pray and ask Jesus to give us the courage to bring his message to those in need. Amen
On a personal note: thank you for your support and prayers. Thank you also to those who have taken their time to send a donation or have stopped by to celebrate with us. Remember that you can read other sermons and listen to last weeks’ sermon by going to our webpage. You can copy and paste the link on your browser. There are over 30 audios: http://archangelschurch.org/
For weekly audio sermons in English and Spanish visit: http://archangelschurch.org
Fr. Marc Angelo, PO Box 3414, Culver City, CA 90231
Mass every Sunday at 5:00 pm in Spanish and 6:00 pm English at St. Mary’s in Palms 3647 Watseka Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034-3914