Feast of the Ascension — May 24, 2012

Jesus did not live with His disciples after His Resurrection as He had lived with them before His death. Filled with the glory of His divinity, He appeared at different times and places to His people, assuring them that it was He, truly alive and risen in his glorified Body. ascension of our lordAnd on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven to be glorified at the right hand of God. The Ascension of Christ is His final physical departure from this world after the Resurrection. It is the formal completion in this world of His mission as the Savior. It is His glorious return to the Father Who had sent Him into the world to accomplish the work that He had given Him to do. (John 17:4-5) The Church’s celebration of the Ascension, as all such festal celebrations, is not merely the remembrance of an event in Christ’s life. Jesus ascended with the promise to His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit Who was to come and would assure Jesus’ Presence with them always and it was this same Spirit Who would give them power to be witnesses to the Resurrection to the ends of the earth. It is with this same conviction that we today celebrated this mystery of Christ’s departure. The Lord leaves in order to be glorified with God the Father and to glorify us with Himself. He goes in order to “prepare a place for us” and to take us also into the blessedness of God’s Presence. He goes in order that He might send us His Holy Spirit Who will give us the power to bear witness to Him and to proclaim His Resurrection in all the world.