ASCENSION OF THE LORD-THE OMNIPRESENCE OF OUR LORD
First Reading: Acts 1: 1-11. Jesus ascends into heaven and promises the Holy Spirit to his disciples.
Second Reading: Eph 1: 17-23. Paul gives the meaning of Ascension: God raised Jesus above all world powers and made Him the head of the Church and Lord of creation.
Gospel: Mt 28: 16-20. Jesus commissions his apostles to preach the Gospel to all nations and he promises to be with them always.
The mission of Jesus on earth is completed. Now it is time for him to ascend into heaven to take his seat on his throne for eternity. Is the mission of Jesus on earth really completed? The answer is Yes and No.
Yes, because Jesus is indeed gone to heaven to take seat on his glorious throne. No, because his mission on earth is not completed as he promised to his disciples to be with them until the end of the earth. Therefore, the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven is both the end and the beginning.
The apostles might have been frightened and confused at the same time. They were with Jesus, then he died and rose again. He appeared various time to them and finally he ascended to the Father before their eyes. But he said to them that it was better for him to go so that the advocate would come to lead them into all truth. for these, the apostles went from joy to fear, to relief and more joy, to confusion and sorrow, to curiosity and uncertainty.
Do the feelings of the apostles sound familiar? Perhaps that is the way some of us find our lives to be. Our lives are filled with ups and downs, joys and sorrows, twists and turns. Each phase of our lives reveals something new or challenging, something glorious or sorrowful. The good news is that, God is always in control of our lives if we surrender it to Him.
Jesus sits now in the driver’s seat of our lives in heaven. From his heavenly kingdom, Jesus descends into our lives to fulfil his mission. The Ascension does not mean, Jesus is gone, rather it means that Jesus is now omnipresent, continually present in us, with us and through us. Jesus is permanently present to everyone who turns to him and surrenders his/her life to Him. From heaven, Jesus is now able to be present to us all. This feast is the new beginning of the Church in which we await the coming of the Holy Spirit.
As we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven and his omnipresence on earth, let us reflect upon the abiding and intimate presence of Jesus Christ in our life. We have been invited to share in Jesus’ mission and in baptism, we have the mandate to preach the Gospel. Jesus wants you to do your part of His Father’s plan of evangelisation and that all shall be saved. what is your part? Ponder this question today and remember that every time you say Yes to Jesus, he is with you and accompanies you always. The first Christians understood this very well. They knew that Jesus was still with them, even not in the same way as before. They believed Jesus shared their lives and that after death, they will be united with Jesus in his glory forever. Jesus is still with us in the Eucharist, Jesus is still with us in his Word, Jesus is still with us in the neighbour, the sick, the needy, Jesus is still in us every time we call upon his name. Amen.
Happy Feast of the Ascension to you all dear sisters and brothers.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Rev. Fr. Jean-Marie Kuzituka Did’ho
Saints Maria Goretti & Joseph Parishes