In this Sunday’s Second Reading we hear the following words of St Paul to the Ephesians: “May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you…” I believe these words are a call from God for us to be ‘incurable optimists.’
Our Gospel story for this Sunday is the story of Jesus leaving his disciples to ascend into heaven. We hear that following this the disciples returned to Jerusalem full of joy and were continually in the Temple praising God. I believe the reason for this was that they allowed the experience of the Risen Christ to take over their lives. In turn this enabled them to overcome the problems associated with leading the early Church and help it move forward.
The actor Michael J. Fox, who starred in the Back to the Future Trilogy in the 1980’s, claims to be an “Incurable Optimist.” He has been fighting Parkinson’s disease for a good portion of his life and has decided to not let the disease affect the way he sees life. One of his quotes I find particularly striking, “I didn’t have to let the terms of the disease define me; I could redefine the terms.”
What is defining who we are every day? Is it time to redefine the terms? Are we letting the hope of who we are in Jesus change our outlook on life? Are we having joy every day? Does the world look at us and see a definition of true happiness? The words from St Paul remind us that the most important thing about God’s call on our lives is not what we ultimately become but rather how we will ultimately be.