Today is the traditional feast of the Ascension, even if we live in a diocese where its celebration is moved to Sunday. Preparing the disciples for his Ascension, Jesus reminds them that they have all been witnesses to his passion, death, and resurrection. Afterwards, trudging back to Jerusalem together without him, their sense of loss must have been immense. They would yet come to know that witness and martyr are the same. And so the transition began. Eyewitnesses would give way to witnesses in generation after generation through history.
We are born into relationship and know Jesus because we were bequeathed the witness of those before us. We now hold that sacred trust. Do we hold it in the same esteem as those who handed it to us? Will our children and theirs to come know Jesus better from the witness of our lives? Saint Doubting Thomas pray for us.
—Jim O’Donnell is a long-serving deacon at Gesu Church, University Heights, OH. He is also a University Hospitals physician specializing and leading a research team in nuclear medicine.