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Small is the only honorific in heaven

The solemn exclamation with which today’s gospel begins is one of the few prayers of Jesus reported in the gospels: “Father, Lord of heaven and earth… revealed them to simple people.”
 
Jesus states a fact: the poor, the humble, the marginalised are the first to welcome his word of deliverance. They feel the need of God’s tenderness. They hunger and thirst for righteousness. They are blessed because for them, the kingdom of God has come.
 








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Constant and generous self-sacrifice

Matthew wrote his gospel in a time of persecution. The disciples have often had the experience that, to remain faithful to Christ, they had to accept the breaking of ties with the people who matter most. The rabbis had made the decision to expel the Christians from the synagogues. They had ordered that those who adhered to the Christian faith be considered heretical, be disowned by their families. 
 








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A mandate to continue his mission

Jesus promised his disciples that he would not leave them alone and that he would send the Spirit. Today we celebrate the feast of this gift of the Risen One.
 
While John places the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Easter to show that the Spirit is the gift of the Risen One, Luke places it with the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost.
 








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A mandate to continue his mission

Matthew does not describe the ascension of Jesus as the Acts of the Apostles do but, using different images, he suggests the same message. Unlike Luke and John, he places the encounter with the Risen Lord not in Jerusalem, but in Galilee.
 
This geographical setting has a theological value: the evangelist wants to say that the mission of the apostles begins where their master had begun.
 








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One life many things to do

In my Father’s house there are many rooms... Yet you know the way where I am going (vv.2-4). Jesus is implying that he must walk down a difficult path. He adds that his disciples should know the way extremely well, because he had often spoken about it.
 
Thomas replies on behalf of all: we do not know this way and we cannot guess where you want to go. Jesus explains that he himself will be the first to run the way once his mission is accomplished, then he will come back and will take the disciples with him.








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Recognise him in the Eucharist!