Witnessing to God in Daily Life Will Not Be Easy
By Father John Slampak, STL

A 5-year-old heard his catechism say, “When you give something to another person, you’re really giving it to Jesus.”

Walking home through the park, he saw an elderly woman sitting on a bench, who looked lonely. He sat down, offered her an M&M and she smiled.

He liked her smile and gave her more. They exchanged smiles, sat for a while, not speaking ... just smiling. Finally, the boy got up to leave. As he began to walk away, he turned, ran back to the woman, and gave her a big hug. She gave him her very best smile.

When he arrived at his grandma’s house, she saw the big smile on his face and asked what made him so happy? “I shared my M&M’s with Jesus. And she has a great smile.”

The woman on the bench returned to her apartment, where she lived with her sister. “You’re all smiles. What made you so happy today?”

 “I was sitting in the park, eating M&M’s with Jesus. And you know, he looks a lot younger than I expected.”

The culture of our time is one of comfort and distraction where God has been excised from public life and regulated to the Church building. The result is a creeping complacency about holiness in daily life.

The Ascension is part of the celebration of the Easter season through Pentecost. “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.”

There is sometimes a tendency to focus over-literally on scriptural phrases such as “was taken up into heaven,” “he was lifted up,” “he ascended on high,” as though there were simply an absence of Jesus.

But Jesus remains present here among us. The key is to keep looking at Jesus who is present to us in a way that involves all of us in the work of salvation; you are to preach, to witness to Jesus every day.

Jesus gave three years of teaching, thinking, deciding, solving problems, doing for them.

Now he ascends away from them to be with his Father, because his work on earth no longer needs his physical presence. He would give them the power of the Holy Spirit so that they could witness to him in all their actions, all their decisions. What they did with their lives was up to them now, knowing that they themselves are responsible for the consequences of what they do or don’t do.

It was not easy for them then, nor for us now, but God was with them and is with us now. What you do with your life, what you make of yourself is in your hands. Witnessing to God’s presence each day will not always be easy, but, as Jesus has promised, he will be with you through it all.

Has anyone seen or learned of the love of Christ from you?

Do you think there will be anyone in heaven because of you?

Do you need a sequel?