The Ascension of the Lord (José Antonio Pagola)

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Not closing the horizon

Busy only with the immediate acquisition of greater comfort in life, and drawn by small aspirations and hopes, we run the risk of impoverishing the horizon of our existence and losing the longing for the eternal. Is this progress? Is it a mistake?  There are two facts that are not difficult to verify in this new millennium in which we have been living for several years. On the one hand, expectation is increasing in human society and so is the desire for a better world. We are not content with just anything: we need to advance towards a more dignified, more human and happier world.

On the other hand, disenchantment is growing and likewise skepticism and uncertainty in the face of the future. There is so much absurd suffering in the lives of people and nations, so much poisoned conflicts, such abuses against the Planet, that it is not easy to maintain faith in the human being.

Advances in science and technology, however, are getting to solve many ills and sufferings. In the future, no doubt, more spectacular successes will be achieved. We cannot yet get a sense of the capacity human beings possess to further physical, psychical and social well-being.

But we would not be honest if we forget that this prodigious development has been “saving” us only from certain ills and in a limited way. Precisely now that we are enjoying human progress more and more, we are beginning to sense better that we humans cannot give ourselves everything that we long for and seek.

Who is going to save us from aging, from inevitable death or from the mysterious power of evil? It should not surprise us that many are beginning to feel the need for something that is neither science nor technology nor doctrinal ideology. The human being refuses to live locked up forever in this fleeting and mortal condition.

Yet not a few Christians live today looking at the earth exclusively. It seems we dare not lift our gaze beyond the immediate of each day. On this Christian feast of the Ascension of the Lord, I like to remember several words of the great scientist and mystic that was Teilhard de Chardin: “Christians, coming only twenty centuries since the Ascension, what have you made of Christian hope?”

In the midst of questions and uncertainties, we followers of Jesus continue walking through life, fashioned by a trust and a conviction. When it seems life closes or is extinguished, God remains. The ultimate mystery of existence is a mystery of Goodness and Love. God is an open Door to the life which no one can close.

José Antonio Pagola

June 1, 2014
Ascension (A)
Matthew 28, 16-20

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