Ascension of the Lord – C May 16th, 2010

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Dear Friends:

We celebrate today the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven. We find in the readings of today two accounts of the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, both given by St. Luke, one at the end of his gospel (Lk.24.50-55) and the other at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles (Act.1.9) It is said that the book of the Acts of the Apostles picks up where the book of the gospel ends. This is significant because

(i) The Ascension of Jesus into heaven marks the conclusion of His work on earth and his earthly life, which was to make available to all men.

(ii) and it marks the beginning of the task entrusted to the Apostles.

Ascension completes a cycle in the earthly life of Jesus. The Incarnation and the Ascension met at a point. From heaven Jesus came down to take human form and back to heaven He went when He ascended. The Incarnation is the coming down of Jesus from heaven and the Ascension is the going up of Jesus to heaven. What Incarnation begun, the Ascension completed: the earthly life of Jesus.

Jesus knew only too well that the Apostles did not possess the necessary light and strength to carry out His mission on earth; it was a task totally beyond their power; no man could ever pretend to be able to carry out “a divine task. Hence Jesus said to his Apostles,” And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Lk.24.49).

Who was this promised person? What was his role? The promised person was the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity:

(i) The Holy Spirit was to enlighten the Apostles to grasp the meaning of all that Jesus did and said while he was on earth.

(ii) The Holy Spirit would help them to know Jesus always better and to discover always clearer His plans for them and for all people.

(iii) The Holy Spirit would enlighten the Apostles to be His witnesses to announce the good news to all people.

The Holy Spirit helped the Apostles and He will help all Christians to grow in the knowledge of Christ and to be His witnesses in the world. Therefore let us pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Fr. Chris