Ascension of the poor lying in the dust
The ascension of Jesus proves that God lifts up the lowly and fills the hungry with good things.
On the day of the ascension itself, Jesus appears once more to the apostles. He tells them that in a few days they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
The news apparently turns out captivating. The apostles gather around and ask, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Asking already suggest doubts. But the question shows hope. The apostles no longer sound as those who acknowledged, “We were hoping he would be the one to redeem Israel.”
But Jesus seems to temper the excitement of the apostles. In effect, he tells them, “Not so fast!” That is because they have to be his witnesses first to the ends of the earth.
No, those who have witnessed the ascension of Jesus cannot just stand there looking at the sky. They ought to go and make disciples of all nations.
True, the mystery of the ascension demands contemplation. Without contemplation, it would be hard for us to keep believing that the one whom the apostle saw go up to heaven will come back in the same way. But as Jesus himself shows us, true contemplation leads to action.
The Son, the only one who has seen God, makes him known. That is to say, being at the bosom of the Father does not mean indifference to the poor. In fact, the Son becomes flesh and dwells among us, so that we also may contemplate the bright face of God.
Yes, the Son of God comes down to earth. He then goes up to heaven, bringing with him our human nature. That way he makes possible for us to share in the fullness of God.
So then, the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Ascension urge us to behave as does Jesus.
Behaving as Jesus assures us of our salvation, of our ascension (SV.EN III:384).
We need to live and die, then, in the service of the poor, putting our trust in God, renouncing ourselves. Thus do we prove, moreover, that we share in the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. That way, we witness also that he is with us always, till the end of the age.
The living bread from heaven gives us a model to follow, so that we, too, may feed the hungry. But as we shall see later, this demands that we empty orselves, so that the Spirit may fill us.
Lord, let your ascension change us and our present lives for the better.
28 May 2017
Ascension of the Lord (A)
Acts 1, 1-11; Eph 1, 17-23; Mt 28, 16-20