Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ascension of the Lord, Year B, 10.05.18

Acts 1:1-11 / Ephesians 1:17-23 / Mark 16:15-20

The Ascension of the Lord is an important feast day and a day of obligation because it points to one important aspect of our faith  - Jesus has gone up to heaven to prepare a place for us so that where He is we too shall be.

At His Resurrection, He conquered sin and death and raised us to life. In the Ascension, this life takes on a clearer and more profound aspect- eternal life in heaven with Jesus.

That should make us set our hearts on things of above and not of things of earth.

But does that mean that we don’t bother about anything and do nothing about our life here on earth?

Of course it is needless to answer that question. But at the same time, we also need to understand that our life on earth is a preparation for the eternal life of heaven.

So what must we do on earth then? What Jesus said to the Eleven, He also says to us: Go out to the whole world, proclaim the Good News to all creation.

Jesus also gave a list of signs that will be associated with believers: they will cast out devils, have the gift of tongues, pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.

All that seems rather lofty and maybe even unbelievable. Can we do all that? Have we done all that?

But before we discourage ourselves with a barrage of “No” to what Jesus said, we need to find out what is the sign that Jesus wants us to be.

And this is where we need to go back to the 1st reading when Jesus also said that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us, and then we will be witnesses reaching out to the ends of the earth.

So as Jesus ascends into heaven, He wants us to prepare the descent of the Holy Spirit, who will empower us to be witnesses and to be signs.

So as much as we set our hearts to the things of above, may we also be witnesses and signs to the people of the earth.

We must be living signs to point them to heaven. Because that’s where we are going, and we want them to go along with us.