Last Sunday we meditated on the meaning of the Ascension of our Lord. We focused on the 3 significant ways the Ascension of our Lord, is to all people of faith.
1. Ascension reveals and affirms the Divinity of Jesus Christ, sent to us by God the Father to accomplish the mission of our redemption through his suffering, death and resurrection. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life” [Jn 3: 16-17]. And, with mission accomplished, Christ returned to the Heavenly Father, as St. Paul teaches: “Christ, is now seated at God’s right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, with all things subjected beneath his feet” [Eph 1:17-23]. Christ seated at God’s right hand in the heavens, is always with us by his mystical presence as he himself testifies; “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” [Mt28:20].
* So, Christ is always with us through the Living Word of God. “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” [Jn 14:23]
* Christ is always with us through the Sacraments of the Church. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven” [Jn 6:51]. “This is my body… this cup is the new covenant in my blood” [Lk 22:1920].
* Christ is always with us through his mystical body-the Church, you and me. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” [Acts 9:1-5]. “Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” [Mt 25:40-45].
2. Ascension reveals and affirms that Heaven is our Homeland. St. Paul teaches; “We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives” [Phil 3:20-21]. And; “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” [Col 3:1]. In the creed, we profess; “I look forward to the resurrection of the body …and life everlasting.” Ascension therefore is a preview, a foretaste, a revelation of the future heavenly glory that awaits all who love God and have placed their trust in him. Christ teaches; “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places…and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am, you also may be….I am the way, and the truth and the life” [Jn 14:1-6]
3. Ascension reveals and affirms our mission in the world. Before we get to enjoy the vision of God and our eternal union with Him, we have homework to do. Heaven is not automatic. We have to work for it, just as the first disciples did. They bore good fruits as they acted upon the divine mandate of the Savior; “You will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth” [Acts 1:1-11]. We too are sent out into the world to be the force for good, advancing God’s kingdom of love, peace and justice. So, when the Lord returns at an hour we do not expect, he better finds us prepared. And the Lord will declare; “Well done my good and faithful servant...come, share your master’s joy” [Mt 25:21], AMEN! Peace be with you!