There is a song that our two-year-old daughter sings. It consists of her sweetly singing, “God is so much!” over and over again. Her joyful song truly touches my heart because what more can you really say? God is so much. Our daughter knows it, and the apostles knew it. The apostles really knew it at the ascension.
Unlike at the transfiguration a few weeks back, the apostles are no longer confused and silent. They have seen the glory of the resurrected Lord. They have spoken to him and eaten with him. Now, instead of responding in silence as they did at the transfiguration, “They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God” (Luke 24: 52-53). The Paraclete hasn’t even come yet, and already the apostles are brave, emboldened men. Easter has transformed them.
Has Easter transformed us? Do we realize what it means to have been saved from our sins and to have been made anew? Do we realize what it means to have a God who became man and raised us up as his adopted daughters? Do we continually praise this God who is everything . . . who is so much?
I know I fall short so often. I know I let sleep deprivation and whining and stubborn children get the best of me. I know I use these moments of stress to justify excessive eating or turning to my phone for some fleeting distraction. Even in these moments, I wonder: if I just turned to my prayer book, wouldn’t I feel a hundred times better? Wouldn’t the balm of the words of Sacred Scripture ease my rising tensions? Wouldn’t God’s words embolden me like they did the apostles? I know they would. Oh, but old habits die hard.
Dear Lord, please help your ascension into heaven embolden me to die to myself and live for you alone! Help me to be brave when I face my own vices and failings. Help me to reach out of myself and preach your Gospel message to the people closest to me and to everyone I meet through my words and example. Help me to feel secure in your overwhelming love for me – you who are everything.