“I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, TO THE END OF THE AGE”. (MT 28:20b)
Ascension is celebrated 40 days after Easter which falls on a Thursday; we celebrate it on the Sunday following; one Sunday prior to the feast of the Pentecost. We celebrate this feast to commemorate the day Jesus was taken up body and spirit in a cloud, into heaven in the presence of His disciples. We see this event narrated in Acts 1:1-11. When Jesus had given them the assurance of empowering them He was taken up into Heaven in a cloud. The two men in white robes assured them that Jesus will come again.
All of us have felt at one time or another, a sense of loneliness; unsure, afraid, unable to cope with the present situation. The very first time you felt this must have probably been the first time your mother left you at school with a promise that she would be back to get you.
Now Jesus had to leave His disciples. They were unprepared for His death on the cross. They were unsure of themselves when they heard of His Resurrection. At the Ascension they felt totally at a loss, not knowing how they could live without Him. They needed His presence, comfort, strength and divine encouraging words. They were left with only the memories of Him. Jesus knew how His disciples would feel; therefore He promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For us to grow into the lovely persons we are today our mother and father had to leave us to ourselves on several occasions; it was not easy for them but they did it to prepare us for life.
When alone we find an inner strength, which is more than we can imagine. In loneliness we come in touch with God, the source of all strength. Painful though the ending and losses may be they are occasions for God coming into our life in new ways.
Jesus too must have felt the same way when he left his disciples alone. Jesus’ disciples had to let go of Jesus at the Ascension. Jesus knew that when left alone His disciples would be emboldened by the Holy Spirit to carry on His mission to the ends of the earth, for in his absence they would feel His presence more strongly.
In Eph 1:17-23 – In Paul’s prayer God’s might is revealed in Christ’s Resurrection, Ascension and His Exaltation above all forces. We as Christians are called to His glorious inheritance and his immeasurable power. Christ is the head of the body – the Church. Therefore Christ is the source of the body’s growth and power. Jesus wants everyone to enjoy the Inheritance of the Father; and therefore empowering us, He entrusts this mission on each one of us, that we may all one day see God our Father face to face.
Every moment is an opportunity to proclaim him in word or deed.
Am I as Christ’s disciple, His witness?
Am I proclaiming Him to the ends of the earth?
There will be many moments in my life that I will feel alone and lonely; in those moments I must remember the words of Jesus:
For reflection use the hymn ‘It is your name we bear in our hearts’
True to His name, we hope to live for ever
Seeking peace that comes from deep within,
When we search for meaning beyond words,
We’ll see a new day dawning in our world.