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Our own Acts 
of the Apostles

The feast of the Ascension marks the end of the ministry of Jesus on this earth, but more importantly, it also marks the beginning of our ministry.

It is the turning point in history when the disciples took up the challenge from Jesus to announce the good news of salvation to all people, without distinction of race, creed or colour.

However, the bottom line question that the liturgy asks of the people present is, “Why are you gazing up at the sky?”

The simple answer is that they were looking for Jesus, maybe wondering where he had gone.

But on another level, they may well have been pondering the vastness of the universe and comparing it with the mission they had received to spread the kingdom among people who are as numerous as the stars in the sky.

The mystery of the unknown about people is something that causes us all to stop and ponder. Daily we read statistics in the newspaper about numbers of people displaced by climate change, suffering hunger from famine, killed in wars, mutilated in traffic accidents or forced from their homes by floods.

Often they are counted in the millions, not even just tens of thousands, and our imaginations really do not stretch, in concrete terms, to those numbers. So trying to think of a worthwhile response that we can make, sort of becomes a dream of another kind.

Yet we know that Jesus died that all people might be saved. That is fine for Jesus, he was God, but we are just mere mortals and we have inherited the task of carrying out this daunting mission.

Even a city like Hong Kong, with its billions of dollars stashed away, seems to have trouble finding the political will to raise its own people out of poverty, let alone reach out to others in far off lands.

As we know, the root of these problems is not lack of money, food or resources, but the political will to share what the world possesses seems to be in short supply.

In the face of such overwhelming suffering we can all be Doubting Thomases and wonder if anything can ever be done to overcome the suffering caused by human greed, carelessness and prejudice.

Yet, there are people who do believe that something can be done. The fact that representatives from most countries in the world sat down and wrote the Millennium Goals to rid the world of poverty is a powerful sign that a significant number of people, who are in-the-know, do believe it can be a possibility.

There are millions of people, who in their own small ways make a difference too. It comes in the outreach of neighbour to neighbour, community groups, civic organisations and Church charities.

Every day and every night people gaze into the sky and ponder and, after pondering, they write another chapter in the book that we call the Acts of the Apostles, or the catalogue of the life of the Church.

Their motivation is love, an ingredient that we are called to inject into every avenue of human endeavour.