I wonder what was going on in the hearts of the disciples after Jesus’ ascension into heaven but before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. By this point, they knew that Jesus had risen for he had appeared to them many times. They had received his peace and healing. The culmination of the divine plan had been revealed to them, and so they realized that Jesus was now returning to his Father and that they were to join him there one day. And though he was ascending into heaven, he assured them that they would receive his Spirit, that Jesus would continue to be present with them as they lived out their mission on earth. But the Spirit hadn’t quite been poured out in fullness just yet and they were not ready to get out there on the streets to proclaim the Good News. That in-between time, the Scriptures tell us, found them gathered together in the Upper Room and devoted to prayer.
I suppose there are a lot of in-between times in our lives. The in-between work and dinner being set on the table; the in-between of school and vacation; the in-between of doctor’s appointments, tests, follow-ups, news of the results, and treatment plans; the in-between of practice and game time; the in-between time of waiting in line at the deli for our number to be called or drifting aimlessly during a layover at the airport; the in-between of pregnancy and birth. In these moments, our emotions can be all over the place from excited to anxious, there may be tension and stress from competing expectations and attempts at control, and our patience just might be tested. We are just waiting for the next thing to happen. And it’s not long before the cycle repeats itself. The in-between is where most of us live most of the time.
Our grave markers will likely have a date of birth and a date of death and a little dash “-” separating them. That dash is where the entirety of our life on earth is lived. We are in the in-between and it is a significant time. What we do here is up to us. When all else fails, I think the Apostles give us good example of how to make the most of that time – be together and pray. If we do nothing else on this earth in the in-between, if we spend that time in prayer and spend that time with the people who are important to us, I have to imagine that it is a life well lived.
~ Fr. Luke