I want to wish everyone a Happy Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. This feast is celebrated on the 40th day of Easter which was on the past Thursday May 21st. However, in some arch/diocese this feast is transferred to the following Sunday which is today.
Each Sunday we profess through the Creed, “He ascended into Heaven.” Christ’s Ascension was the culmination of God’s divine plan for Christ Jesus; His return to His Father after having accomplished His “Mission.” The Ascension, as the grand finale of all Jesus’ words and works done for us and our salvation, it is a culmination but not a conclusion. Jesus is now with God in glory, and with us in the Holy Spirit: “Lo, I am with you always.”
“But it is in Jesus’ Ascension that we see the Son of God and Son of Man entering fully into the life and glory of God. The prospect of sharing in that glory should be the driving force of our lives. “
The first reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, describes the scene of Jesus’ Ascension, with the promise of the Holy Spirit and the instruction that the Apostles were to stay in Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Spirit, the Power from above. In the second reading, St. Paul prays that the Holy Spirit may enliven the hope of Christ’s disciples in their future heavenly glory, saying, “May God enlighten the eyes of our heart so that we may know the great hope to which we have been called.” St. Paul also teaches us that God revealed His might in the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ and in exalting Jesus over all angelic forces. Today’s Gospel tells us that, with his return to the Father, Jesus completed His mission on earth. But just before His Ascension, Jesus entrusted to the disciples the mission of preaching and teaching the Good News and evangelizing the whole world by bearing witness to Him through their lives. In the descriptions of Christ after His Resurrection, we are given a hint of what life will be like in Heaven. But it is in Jesus’ Ascension that we see the Son of God and Son of Man entering fully into the life and glory of God. The prospect of sharing in that glory should be the driving force of our lives.
Message for our Daily Life:
- As Christians, we are called to be proclaimers and evangelizers: The difference between preaching and proclaiming is that we preach with words, but we proclaim with our lives. Let us ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we may bear witness to Jesus by our transparent Christian lives.
- We have a teaching mission: Jesus taught us lessons of faith, hope, love, forgiveness, mercy, and salvation both by living and by preaching them. Our mission is to bring these values to others in the same way. Hence, let us learn all Jesus did and taught through the daily study of the Bible and the teachings of the Church. Let us experience Jesus in personal prayer, reception of the Sacraments, works of charity, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, convey to others Jesus whom we have experienced.
- The ascended Jesus is our source of strength and encouragement: We will be able to overcome doubts about our faith and baseless fears, anxieties, and worries by meditating on Jesus’ Ascension and the lesson it teaches that we, too are called to share Jesus’ glory in Heaven.
Fr Tomy Puliyan, MSFS
“Holiness and Happiness through Wellness and Wholeness”