The Ascension of The Lord - Year C - 8th May, 2016

The Ascension of Our Lord

When someone dies we think of it as an end story and likewise with the Ascension of Our Lord. A certain phase, the human life of Jesus has come to an end but it is the inauguration of something new. Of course every day is new beginning, a new dawn in the work of Jesus.

He had now completed his earthly mission and as he was returning to the Father, he was entrusting to the disciples, to the young church, the ongoing task of proclaiming his message of love and forgiveness.

Hence the feast says more about us than about Jesus. This is the day that we Christians are called upon to take over the baton from Jesus and continue his mission. “Men of Galilee why look up to heaven.”

Mountain peaks make for grand scenic views, but the work is done down in the valleys.

Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father but has not abandoned us. He is still present with us as we face and live in a world of suffering, disbelief and sin. St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians encourages us to live lives worthy of our calling in selflessness, gentleness and patience, using the gifts that God has given us.

Any good that I can do, any kindness I can show let me do it now; for I shall not pass this way again.

The disciples were told to stop looking up into the sky. There was a job to be done on earth. But firstly they should wait in prayer for the mighty power from on high in the gift of the Holy Spirit. From now until Pentecost is a very special week of prayer. The original novena is the time between the Ascension and Pentecost. (nine days)..

It was now the in-between time Jesus had promised He would send His Holy Spirit, but his request to them was that they should wait.

Then the two angels addressed them: "This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." It was all very mysterious but the first disciples followed the advice of Jesus and waited patiently for the coming of the Spirit.

Can we make the point of setting aside a small time for prayer each day during this coming week. We should joyfully and urgently beg the Father to send the Holy Spirit more fully into our lives, so that we too may be His witnesses in this rather faithless world.

Fr. Kevin O'Shea, C.M.