Eucharistic Readings for Ascension Day: Years A, B, and C
Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; or Psalm 93; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53:
“Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” (Luke 24:45)
This “opening of their minds” is the action of the Resurrected Jesus. Jesus spent a lot of time with his followers before he was crucified, preaching and teaching about the scriptures and how the scriptures foretold of his destiny. You can see much of this in chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel where he says several times, “You have heard that it was said, …. But I tell you…..” In this way our Lord Jesus re-interprets the historic Hebrew Law.
But now, Jesus goes beyond explanation to revelation. He “opens their minds.” We have words written in the Bible that have been translated from Aramaic, to Greek, from Greek to Latin, and then for us, from Latin to English. Even this last translation is from old English to modern and then American English. Has anything been lost or misrepresented in this human work?
How wonderful it would be for us today for Jesus to “open our minds” so that we too can have a better understanding of the scriptures, or better yet, God’s actual intent – God’s will for us. I think when we believe that our purpose is to love God and love one another to the best of our ability, we will indeed understand all the Law and the writings of the Bible. And, what we come to understand may even be better than what our old recorders wrote.
I remember reading somewhere in a Jewish fable that someone asked an old teacher of the Torah to explain the Torah while standing on one foot. The response was, “What is hateful to you, do not do to others.” That is the whole Torah. It is another way of saying the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do onto you.”
The only other piece I would like to add about opening our minds is the opening of our hearts. Sometimes the words are interchangeable. Sometimes they are not. The heart piece adds in the love component. Psychologist within the last hundred years have found that the children of loving parents who hugged their children and spent time with them showed higher intellectual ability than the children of distancing parents. Love matters. Bless those psychologists. But then, bless our Lord Jesus who told us this over 2000 years ago. Thank You Lord Jesus.
I pray that the Risen Jesus opens the minds of the Russian military so that they might cease from the devastation they are doing to Ukraine. Help us today Lord Jesus and open our minds to God’s will for us.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John