Launching Disciples

There comes a time in every parent’s journey where they have to step aside and let their children come into their own as persons. My mother-in-law calls this process “launching.” In little ways throughout a child’s development, parents are preparing them for life on their own. We teach our children how to bathe on their own, how to cook a meal, how to fold laundry (or at least wash their clothes). As they grow, children learn how to drive, how to manage finances, how to make wise decisions. Some of these lessons they internalize and begin to use immediately, others take more time and sometimes are rejected before they are well learned. 

In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus “launching” the disciples into the world. They have been formed, they have been tested, and now they are being empowered to go out “to all creation” proclaiming Jesus’ Resurrection. Then, Jesus steps aside, or in the case of most artwork of the Ascension, He steps up, rising to heaven to sit at His Father’s right hand. While remaining with the disciples and indeed, all baptized members of the Church up to this present moment and beyond, Jesus removes His bodily presence from this earth. 

Just as a parent cannot live the life of their child, it was vitally important for the Church that Jesus allow His disciples to come into full ownership of their faith. Peter couldn’t have become the leader of the Church if Jesus had remained. That role would have remained Jesus’. The apostles could not have had the authority or boldness to go out and preach as they did if they were constantly running back to Jesus to check in or verify their work. Jesus filled them with the Holy Spirit and sent them out in His place. 

How good, wise and selfless our Savior is. Even in this moment, after giving up everything on the Cross and returning with our salvation in hand, still He sacrifices for us. He leaves His beloved creation as was the Father’s Will and ascends to Heaven. In His abundant generosity, He gives to all of us the gift of the Spirit which has been handed down from generation to generation. And even more abundantly, He gives us a foreshadowing of Heaven within the Mass, a taste of complete union with God by the offering of His own Body and Blood for us in the Eucharist. Let our Easter Alleluia’s continue to ring out joyfully as we contemplate just how much Jesus has done for us.

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Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at

Feature Image Credit: Foulques,