Blessed to live as a blessing

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In this Sunday’s readings for the Solemnity of the Ascension, Jesus “raised his hands and blessed them” before He “was taken up to heaven.” Jesus’ final act, final gift, was His blessing. No longer would Jesus be in the flesh to heal, forgive, love, and bless. Once ascended, the disciples were to be His hands and His feet to carry on His mission. Once blessed, they were strengthened to be a blessing for others in the name of Jesus.

We long to know ourselves as accepted, forgiven, loved, favored—blessed—just as we are. According to Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, “Hunger for our father’s [God’s] blessing is perhaps the deepest hunger in our world today.” Then, and only then, are we able to fulfill our mission as witnesses to Christ by healing, forgiving, sacrificing, encouraging, and serving others. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, disciples are “called to be a ‘blessing’ and to bless” (n. 1669).

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