But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." (Acts 1: 8-11)
To the ends of the earth...
Today, May 25, 2006, the Catholic Church celebrates Ascension Thursday. It is the day (40 after Easter) that we celebrate the above passage when Jesus Christ ascends into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of His Father.
If you notice in the above passage, Jesus' final words to them before He ascends is to "be witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and to the ends of the earth."
What does it mean to be a witness? Well, for the apostles, they lived a life of Christ and preached the Gospel and all of them (save one) had pretty horrific deaths.
Is that what God wants from us?
He wants us to be a witness for Him. This means that we must live a life of Christ. We must preach the Gospel (using words if necessary). We must follow His commandments obediently and we must bring others closer to Him.
But even more so, we must sacrifice our lives for God. We must die to self. It's no longer what I want to do. It's what God wants me to do.
It's in that sacrifice that we are with God.
Happy Ascension Day.