(For the audio version of this blog, please visit: http://brothersinchristcmf.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Mass-Blog-for-the-Seventh-Sunday-of-Easter-2023.mp3)
We moderns share the same challenge Christ’s disciples faced after watching their Master rise and disappear from sight. What now? Where do we go from here?
If we believe ascension is only about Jesus leaving this earth’s grasp and rising above it all, we’re thinking too small. Inaction was the first act of the Apostles—one we are not to imitate. After witnessing that ascension, they were dumbstruck. It took two angelic figures to whack them with a verbal two-by-four, saying in effect, “snap out of it and get to work!”
“Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? (Acts 1:1-11)
We tend to do the same when we think of ascension. We lose our sense of direction when using our senses. We think of heaven above and hell below, and us trapped among all the principalities, authorities, powers and dominions that we CAN see here on earth. We want to see beyond them—to rise above them as Jesus did. But Jesus taught us to keep our eyes trained on them because he is not up or down, but AMONG us. Jesus is the model for OUR acts in THIS life.
Matthew’s gospel (Mt 28:16-20) concludes with Jesus’ blessed reassurance: “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” We are called to bring that presence to others and model discipleship by living his laws of love. Doing that makes our sacred heart take flight.