May 4,2008 The Lord's Ascension Year A

Scripture: Acts 1:1-11
Mathew 28:16-20
During the 2nd. World War the German city of Dresden was heavily bombed. The city was reduced to ruins. A church was reduced to rubble. But after the war ended, among that rubble the parishioners found the statue of Jesus that used to stand outside the church. That statue had depicted Jesus with outstretched welcoming arms. Now the body of the statue had very little damage but the hands had been broken off in the bombing.
The parishioners re-built their church and outside it they placed the same statue of Jesus, but without hands. At the base of the statue were written the words:"You are my hands".
In the first reading today (Acts) Jesus say to the disciples and to us today: "You will receive power, and then you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth." Jesus calls on us to be his instruments of peace in our own small society.
For example:
When we lay our hand on the feverish brow of a sick person, we do this in place of Jesus -giving his peace. We are his hands. Further, we are his feet when we visit some weighed down with worry. We are Jesus' nouth when we give encouragement to others. We are his ears when when we listen to another's worries.
This is what 'being a witness' means. But let us note well this vital point: we do not do these things with our own energy alone; Jesus promises us his strength, his power to accomplish the mission he entrusts to us. He empowers us.
In a living voice through the Scriputure he says to us today: "Know that I am with you always, yes, even to the end of time."