Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Ascension of the Lord

Solemnity of the Ascension

The first reading reminds us of the events surrounding Christ's passion, death, resurrection and ascension.  Jesus appeared to the disciples for forty days, before this, He suffered and died on the cross (Luke 24:36-49, Matthew 27, John 20:1-10). Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to them and commanded them to preach the Gospel to all corners of the world (John 16:7, Matthew 28:19).  After this, He ascended into heaven and will return in the same fashion.  Jesus did not abandon us. He sent each one of us on a mission to prepare the world for His second coming. Yes, He could have stayed with us forever, but would that be a good idea?

Think about it: If Christ stayed with humanity, then humanity would look at Him as some 'Superman' or miracle worker-genie instead of the loving savior. People will wait on Him and demand Him to perform miracles. We already see in the Gospels how this was the case.  The people followed Christ until His words became too difficult to hold.  They were quick to be present for miracles, but ran away when He said His flesh was real food (John 6).

Jesus wants us to grow in love and faith by ourselves freely without Him hovering over us like a hawk. This love and faith will be a genuine one because it will come freely from us.  Moreover, Jesus is still with us in the Blessed Sacrament. He waits for us to visit Him daily. We must be patient and wait for the Lord. He sits on His throne as the Psalm today tells us. God is the great king over all the Earth.  We must praise Him and thank Him for all things.  He reigns over all the world and the entire universe.

In the second reading (there are two options), we are told that Christ is the ruler of all things. Everything was "beneath His feet."  He rules over every principality, authority and power. Christ sits at the Father's right hand interceding for us. The second option reminds us that Christ went to the true sanctuary, not one made by men. Our churches are beautiful and all, but they do not compare to heaven.  We are told that Christ will intercede for us and is the sacrifice offered for all. This sacrifice is not one that repeats itself like those of the Jewish faith.  Christ died once for all.  His one sacrifice is suffice. Christ sits at the right hand of the Father. He judges us immediately after death. We die only once, there is no such thing as reincarnation. Therefore, only have one chance to make things right, so to speak. We must take advantage of the Catholic Church and all the graces God offers via her. Our bodies and souls will be washed in the pure waters of baptism.  They will be nourished by the Holy Eucharist and strengthened by the other Sacraments.

Finally in the Gospel, Jesus reminds the disciples of all that is to happen regarding Himself.  They are to be witnesses of all these things.  We too are witnesses of Christ 2,000 plus years later. While we were not there when Jesus walked the Earth, we are witnesses of how He works in our lives.  We are witnesses that all He said was not nonsense, but truth. As we prepare for Pentecost, we must remind ourselves of this. We are witnesses of Christ. Those of us who received Confirmation are taught this during preparation. We must not keep the faith to ourselves but must share it with all. This does not mean that we have to go on street corners and shout with a microphone to repent. I have found that the best way to witness to Christ in the lives of others is by living a truly genuine Christian life. When we smile, love others, forgive, help others; people take note of this. They will realize that it is Christ who inspires us to do these things and will seek Him as well.  When we truly become what Galatians 2:20 says by letting Christ live in us, this is when we can truly be effective disciples and bring others to Christ.  Our Lady was one of the first carriers of the Gospel of her Son.  We must ask her to teach us how to bring Christ to others as well.  I started a new site to promote the apparitions of Our Lady of the Universe.  Please visit www.OurLadyoftheUniverse.com to learn more and spread this devotion.  Let us proclaim Christ's love to all and spread His Good News.

Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051018-ascension.cfm


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