Forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus returns to His Father in Heaven. This is the mystery in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ that we celebrate Sunday, the Solemnity of Our Lord’s Ascension.
In the Gospel reading Sunday, Matthew narrates how Jesus ascended into heaven (Matthew 28:16-20). He gathered “the eleven” disciples at a mountain in Galilee to meet them before His departure and give them His parting message. He then commissioned them, saying: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
With these words, Jesus called on them to continue what He had begun on earth – making the Kingdom of God a reality on earth. He had accomplished His mission; He was now giving us the responsibility of making God known by all and His love experienced by all the ends of the earth. Jesus said He would always be there to guide us, to accompany us in fulfilling this mission. He gave us a promise: “I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
In this pilgrimage of life, there are moments when we feel alone, neglected, or rejected. Whenever we encounter difficult moments, we feel hopeless and helpless. But our faith in Jesus Christ assures us that we are never alone. The God whom we adore is with us and is in solidarity with us even in our suffering and disappointments.
As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord, may we come to realize that Jesus has promised that He will never leave us. May we always be attentive to God’s presence in our midst always. May this inspire us to be like Jesus in telling the world of God’s love.
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