We preach the Good News by bringing healing to those in need … not just people, but animals, soil, ocean & trees, too.


We preach the Good News by bringing healing to those in need … not just people, but animals, soil, ocean & trees, too.

Ascension – May 12, 2024

After the Resurrection, Jesus told the Apostles to go back to Galilee where it all began.  And, today, the First Reading also goes back to the beginning: Chapter 1.

Here, the Apostles also went back to the beginning when they knew nothing: they asked Jesus, “Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  They were obviously thinking about the time of King David: power, wealth, luxury and easy life, etc.

But Jesus ignores the issue and focuses on the coming of the Holy Spirit and the true power they would receive: the power of love and reconciliation.  Jesus then ascends into Heaven.
In the Gospel, Jesus commands them to go: “proclaim the Good News to all creation.

Note the important word ‘creation’.  Why didn’t Jesus say, “to all the world,” or “to all people?”  Why ‘creation’?  It’s important today, and more obvious to us now, because the environment is badly polluted and animal species are under threat, affecting the food chain.

Jesus Christ is the original ‘greenie’.  However, some of you might be wondering how are we going to preach the Good News to a cow, or a tree?  How do we baptise?

We need to unpack Baptism and the Good News deeper than usual.  What’s the No. 1 issue we remember about Baptism?  The issue that many people say is confusing when baptising a child?  Yes, original sin.  Original sin, I suggest, is the pain and suffering we all carry because of what the world has done to us.

Yes, even babies are affected by original sin because many are born with congenital problems, cancer, disabilities, blindness, etc.  Most of which are accidently caused by the make-up of the parents who, themselves, carry the wounds of the world.

Of course, some parents drink and take drugs which creates more pain for the child, which needs HEALING.  So, Baptism is first of all a sacrament of healing.  Reminding us that despite how the world has “deformed us’ we are always a beloved daughter/ son of God.

The Good News reveals the healing power of Baptism.  The Good News, in many ways, is a pre-cursor and enabler of Baptism’s healing power.  We usually think of the Good News as words; however, the Good News comes in: words, actions, presence and material things.

Now, as we look around the environment, we see many parts of creation (animals, trees, soil, and water-ways), which require healing; not to mention many individuals among us.

And, here, I especially point out the many young people who have been hurt by neglect, abuse (in its many forms), and rejection.

You and I are the modern day disciples that Christ, today, is commanding to “proclaim the Good News to all creation.”  Pope Francis has been a great inspiration and guide for how we can, and must, heal the environment: less chemicals, less plastic & waste, more recycling, etc.

However, an even greater danger to creation is the suffering and confusion in family life.  Here is the most urgent issue to attend to because, without healthy families, we will not have healthy people who care for others.  And, if we care less than we should about people, why would we care about the environment, unless to make money at any cost?

I sometimes get rebuked (in nice ways), for focusing on the youth, as though I am neglecting the older generations.  My response is easy: without minimising the pain that many older people carry, I believe that helping more young people feel the healing words and actions of God (through us or miraculously), then the following generations will carry less pain, and develop more peace-filled and happy families.

Then, the environment will be safer and the world will find more peace, beauty and joy.
Perhaps Jesus informed the Apostles that “it is not for you to know times or dates…” because it is an ongoing ‘event’ that requires the healing presence of Christ in every age.

St Eugene called his Oblates to “be the instruments of God’s mercy.”  In other words, to be Good News for those we meet, especially those in Reconciliation.  We may not speak many languages, but we can all speak in different ways to bring healing as required.

Just as the snake bites someone, so wounded people ‘bite’ us because of their wounds.  But the true Christian is able to respond with tolerance and patience, and a bit of love.  The knowledge of God’s love for us, defeats the poison of the devil hiding in the wounds of hurting people.

Together, under the power of the Holy Spirit, we can bring healing to each other and the environment.  In fact, the more we try to gently heal others, the more our own wounds of rejection, shame or fear are healed.

By Gerard Conlan, OMI