I have to admit… kids are wonderfully good at putting things in perspective. Take the Ascension, for instance!
While I was editing my book, The Glorious Mysteries (which is coming… eventually… trust me on this!) my three-year-old daughter looked over my shoulder, took my proof copy that I have to make sure things look good, and opened it randomly to the page, featuring this artwork:
Now, she is full of questions about pretty much everything, so she looked over this image with curiosity. Finally, the barrage of questions came!
“Who’s this?” she said, pointing to Jesus.
“That’s Jesus. He’s going to Heaven.”
“Who’s this?” she asked, pointing to the disciples.
“Those are Jesus’s friends.”
She then pointed to the angels. “Who’s this?”
“Those are angels.”
“What are they saying?”
Now, for the record, let me say that I totally wasn’t expecting this question. So she completely caught me off guard. I hesitated, trying to translate their message so that a three-year-old would understand. “They’re saying, ‘Get back to work!'”
“Get back to work?”
“Yes,” I said. “They are telling Jesus’s friends that there is too much work that they have to do on earth for them to stare at Jesus in the sky.”
She smiled widely, then looked back at the artwork. “Get back to work!” she said happily, ordering the disciples in the picture. Then, as she flipped through the entire chapter of the Ascension, whenever she saw artwork that featured an angel, she was happy to command the disciples to get to work.
And, as she happily ordered the disciples to get to work, it occurred to me that the advice was also good for us. After all, as disciples as Christ, we have a lot of work to do! So, while it is important to spend time with Jesus through prayer — and trust me, prayer is extremely important — there is a lot of work to do as well!
So! While we should definitely take this day to celebrate the Ascension, as it is the official feast day of the Ascension today, we should also see it as a call to arms and yet another a reminder to get back to work as disciples of Christ!