The beginning of the Book of Acts presents a summary of the life of Christ and how he called and taught the apostles in the Holy Spirit. After his resurrection, Christ kept the apostles in Jerusalem, where they prayed together with the Virgin and awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit which would give them power to witness to him beyond the city and into the outlying countries and regions, just as the Gospel reading commands.

This Spirit given to them by Christ is a spirit of mission and witness. When Jesus was finished speaking, when his revelation had finished, he was taken to heaven. And the apostles were left standing there, looking up after him.

That looking up can be interpreted as a longing for Jesus’ presence that was no longer in human form. Things had radically changed. Jesus’ mission had finished, and now theirs was beginning.Their situation is the same as ours. We are sent on a mission!

An essential element of being Christian is to understand that we are sent into the world to build Christ’s kingdom. We are his missionaries, his representatives. He counts on us to go into the world and bring his message to all his beloved children just as he did—with preaching, testi- mony, and love. Jesus doesn’t send us to be comfortable, professionally successful, and wealthy. He sends us to be missionaries!

—Fr. Mark Haydu, LC

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