"When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted."
How human this line is, and how it captures our spirits sometimes! Yes we believe, we can feel Jesus working in our lives, we can pray, worship and love ... and then we doubt.
In the first reading from Acts, we watch as Jesus leaves us, his followers, as he ascends into heaven. Those of us in his band of disciples watch from the ground below as he is slowly lifted up and away from us. Matthew's gospel does not depict the Ascension, but as the gospel concludes, the disciples are called to the mountain, eager to meet Jesus. They see him, worship ... and then doubt.
And how does Jesus react to that doubt? With an incredible and inexhaustible love for us and our failings. He looks on us with such love -- and sends us out to do his work! He's not waiting for us be become perfect - he send us out, doubts, fears, failings and all. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ... He's not angry, disappointed or discouraged; he simply send us as we are.
Maybe at this moment of sending we return to doubting. What does he mean? How are we supposed to do this? Make disciples of all nations? Where do we start? What if we are rejected, challenged? Can I really do this?
Then his last words drift down to us, I am with you always,
until the end of the age. We let those words settle into our souls,
we feel them, we are reassured by them. We turn them over and over
again in our hearts: Always...Until the end of the age... I will
be with you...
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