Gospel Meditation: LUKE 24:46–53
The Solemnity of the Ascension is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Sunday. After His glorious resurrection, He continued to appear to His disciples for “forty days,” talking to them about the “Kingdom of God”.
On the 40th day our Lord took His disciples to the summit of the Mount of Olives, wherefrom He ascended to His heavenly glory to be seated at God’s right hand, even today.
The Ascension is the moment where Christ, in all His physical humanity, returns to the presence of God. It is the beginning of the reversal of the fall, man bodily dwelling again with God. Christ, our representative, is the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18) and His glorious return to heaven paves the way for the rebirth of humanity.
After the Ascension, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem with great joy. This seems a little odd. If we are separated from our relatives or friends, because of a definitive departure and, especially, death, there is usually a natural sadness in us since we will no longer see their face, no longer hear their voice or be in their presence. The Apostles however demonstrated joy. How could this be?
Precisely because, with the gaze of faith, they understood that although He has been removed from their sight (physical), Jesus stays with them forever (Spirit).
He does not abandon them and in the glory of the Father supports them, guides them and intercedes for them. This is for us the assurance that He intercedes for us. The richness of this mystery is identified in two statements: Jesus gave instructions, and then Jesus took His place in heaven.
Today we celebrate with the assurance that He is at the Father’s right hand but it is not enough to just celebrate this joy; rather, it is crucial to our mission as His disciples here on earth to carry out the instructions that Jesus left.
We live a challenging life here on earth. Daily we face difficulties, pain, disasters, injustice and sin. Sin has been easily accepted and cultured into our daily lives.
The world sends messages today that are not in sync with the values of neither the Kingdom of God nor His will for us. We however, possess a heavenly family; we belong to the place that the Ascension led Jesus to, where in John (14:3) He promised to go prepare a place for us. Are we willing to work towards this Kingdom where Christ is our heavenly mediator and high priest?
Pope Francis said the ability to intercede isn’t just a task Jesus carries out, but is also one that He has entrusted to the entire Church. Each of us has the power to pray for others, he said, asking: “Do we, as a Church, exercise this power bringing people and situations to God?”
May the Ascension empower us to do the Holy Will of God on earth on our journey to meet Him in heaven.
Father, we thank you for the Ascension. Your love for us is evident in Jesus ascending into heaven opening a door for us to eternal life. May we live the Ascension daily in our lives as we bring others to experience Your glory. Amen.
The Gospel Meditations for June are by Rosemarie Siewnarine, a wife, mother of two sons and parishioner of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Carapichaima. She is also a Standard 4/5 teacher at the Carapichaima RC Primary School.
By Rosemarie Siewnarine