From Ona Rowbery, St. William of York parishoner:
This week we celebrate Christ’s Ascension from Earth to be with his Father in heaven, thus allowing us to hope that we might one day join him there. For the disciples, it seems likely that this joy would have been tempered by a renewed sense of bereavement, but none-the-less, they responded much more positively than they had after Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, when Peter and the gang had retreated in fear to the confines of the upper room. By the time of the Ascension, however, they had gained a new perspective, looking outwards to distant horizons, and becoming less fearful in the process.
Like the disciples, I too have sometimes found myself trapped in a spiral of fear and introspection. Today, for example, I went to the hospital for a routine post-operative scan. The procedure lasts about 40 minutes and involves lying on a conveyer belt and being trundled into a small metal tube – where you’re unable to move, can see nothing but the metal just inches from your face and hear only the clanking and whirring of the machine. This creates an enclosed micro-world, with nowhere to look but inwards, which for me at least, can induce fear and panic. Fortunately, assistance was at hand in the form of ‘magic mirror glasses’. These changed my perspective, enabling me to see not the fear-filled dark metal tube in front of me, but the inviting, light filled space beyond.
Motivated by their faith and armed with divine assistance, the disciples were emboldened to embark on a mission to evangelise the globe. My ‘magic mirror glasses’ haven’t made me that brave, but they have enlightened me to the possibility that there may be less to fear in the infinity of a loving God than there is inside my own head.