Homily for Ascension Thursday

posted Jun 1, 2017, 12:14 PM by Church Office   [ updated Jun 1, 2017, 12:14 PM by Michelle Massung ]

            How many of you either own a dog or have owned a dog?  I have had the privilege of owning four dogs in my lifetime.  I have also owned a couple of cats and no offense to cats, I prefer dogs to cats.  Unfortunately, if you have never owned a dog, my homily today may not make much sense, but try your best to follow along.  My theme today is I hope to love God and to trust God as much as my dog loved and trusted me, its owner and care giver.

            My first dog was a beagle named Snoopy.  I only hope that I love and trust God as much as Snoopy loved and trusted me.  For example, Snoopy didn’t care when I came home from work at night, he was just overjoyed to see me and was so happy that I was there to keep him company.  He trusted that I would feed him and give him water.  Yet, he would have eaten more if I gave it to him. However, I only gave him enough to eat and not too much.  If I gave him too much, he would get sick.  He trusted that I would take him for a walk at night and got so excited when I approached him with his leash in hand.  He trusted that I would guide him along our journey together.  He trusted that I would keep him safe from all harm.  One thing Snoopy didn’t like to do was to go to the Veterinarian for his checkup and his shots.  As much as I hated to see him in pain from the shots, I knew he had to get them in order for him to stay healthy.  Snoopy never understood why he was getting these and there was no way I could communicate to him why he had to suffer. Yet, I knew why, and it was for his own good and for his long term health.  Even after getting these shots, Snoopy never rejected me or ignored me.  He just whimpered a little and then forgave me and started loving me just like he always did.  Snoopy was a very loving and loyal dog and it broke my heart the day I had to put him to sleep. 

            Why do I tell this story on the feast of the Ascension? Well, Jesus leaves his disciples and ascends into heaven.  Before he leaves, his final words are to go and spread the good news of the Gospel throughout the world.  I don’t know about you, but that would seem to me to be a difficult task, especially when their leader has abandoned them.  He asks them to trust him and that he will send them the Advocate to guide them on their mission.  If they trust him like Snoopy trusted me, they would have a very joyous and productive journey. 

            What about us? Do we love and trust God as much as Snoopy loved and trusted me?  Do we accept the gifts that God gives to us to sustain our lives, or do we seek more and more to the point we become sick with greed and selfishness?  Do we accept the pain and suffering we are subjected to or do we turn away from God and reject him?  Do we run to him everyday on a consistent basis and show our love and gratitude to him for even the simplest things in our lives?  My wish for all of you on this holy day is for you to love and trust God as much as my dog Snoopy loved and trusted me.  In this way, we can have a happy and joyous life and as a result, can be true messengers of Christ like the disciples were.