Jesus chose to walk

A short reflection on the Ascension by Sr Anne Hannigan RSM

I think perhaps it is no small thing that Christ – even in his resurrected form – chose to spend his last days walking on terra firma with his friends and family.
Often in the scriptures, (the Gospels) we read of Jesus and his disciples walking – walking, walking, walking. He walked across the desert and back again; up hills and down into valleys; out of this town and into this one. Nowhere in the Gospels is there a single account of Christ riding in a chariot or on a horse or camel, and only once does he ride on a donkey. Jesus chose to walk. He chose to plant two feet on the hard earth, putting one foot in front of the other, participating in the one of the more common bodily experiences – walking.

Not only did he choose to partake in this ordinary physical activity, but he chose to do so in the context of community. Everywhere in the Gospels, we see Jesus with his family in tow – disciples, friends, followers and mother – they are all there, walking alongside him, and trailing behind.

After the resurrection, Jesus walked amongst his people and on the fortieth day He and his disciples walked to Mount Olivet (Mount of Olives), near Jerusalem. While here, He told them that He must go so that He could send His Holy Spirit. The departure of our friends is usually a painful process and so it was for his disciples though they tried to understand what Jesus had said. His going is called the Ascension and it left the disciples quite bewildered. This may be an opportunity for us to think to reflect on how do I manage grief? Who are my helps when I am grieving? Do I think of talking with Jesus or His Spirit?

This is one of the important feasts (celebration days) of the year and we celebrate it the Sunday before Pentecost. At that time He sent His Spirit to be with us always. That was His great gift to us.

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