Do you have a favorite superhero? Why is he/she your favorite? There is usually one particular reason why you like something, like a superhero, because it/they have something unique about them that sets them apart from anything/anyone else!
In the same way, God has given us each a unique and specific gift!
Today(May 17) we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, Jesus, into heaven. After dying on the cross and coming back from the dead I’m sure the disciples were thinking this was too good to be true, but then the reality sets in that He will be leaving them for good. We hear in Mark’s Gospel (16.15-20) Jesus’ call to his disciples to go into the world and proclaim the good news, which they have witnessed; His life given for us to enter eternal life.
We further hear in the Acts of the Apostles(1.1-11) Jesus’ hope for us in His departure; “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.”
What a promise. Jesus is leaving, but He promises he will remain with them. He Spirit will indeed come to give them power, His power, it is only a matter of when! (Spoiler: This ‘when’ is what we call next Sunday’s celebration: Pentecost)
In the Gospel Jesus also reveals what they will be able to do with His power; truly amazing things [Jesus’ disciples were given ‘super’ powers]:
-Cast out demons
-Speak in different languages
-Pick up snakes
-Drink deadly things and not be harmed
-Heal the sick
The amazing thing about this is that He is also calling us, just as much as His first disciples, to do these things! To be His witnesses and, in His name, through the power of His Spirit to do amazing things. Do we live this though? Are you open to His Spirit?
As we hear in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians(4.1-13) each one of us is given the grace that we need, the gifts that we need, to accomplish this. Some are called to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, others teachers. For what purpose though? All for the building up of the body of Christ, the Church, and His kingdom!
In a way, God has called us to be ‘holy’ superheroes. However, it is not for our glory, much like the usual superheroes that take all the credit for themselves, but it is for His glory, His Church!
We have each been given a unique gif, something that sets us apart from everyone else. God desires for all people to know His love and His power (the Good News), but it is through those who know this love and power firsthand that he can spread it to all!
I would encourage you to pray to the Holy Spirit, and ask for the Spirit to guide and direct you to discovering your unique gift that He has given you for the building up of His body. Let us open our hearts, and as we open ourselves to the power of His Spirit may we come to internalize His call for us to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth.