Reflection For The Solemnity Of Ascension, Year A
(Acts 1, 1-11; Eph. 1, 17-23; Matthew 28, 16-20)
Today is exactly forty days since Jesus resurrected from the dead. We are celebrating this solemnity today because it gives more value to our Christian faith. It is indeed a celebration of hope not just for the first apostles but for the entire Church. It gives us hope and assurance that Christ has not only conquered death but has also opened the gates of heaven for us Christians so that being the first born from the dead all those who die in him will gain direct entrance into heaven.
St Luke captured this episode very succinctly in the first reading, “He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1, 3). What does the number forty signifies? Scripturally, it has this undertone of cleansing and purifying, strengthening and enlightening.
After the resurrection of Christ, the disciples experienced so many things within the forty days that made them anxious of beholding their master once again. The opening verse of today’s Gospel reading says, “]Meanwhile the eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated” (Matthew 28, 16-17).
Just like the disciples hesitated when they saw Jesus because so much had happened to them, so many of us have had similar experiences and so very uncertain about the future holds for us. So many times in our difficult moments, we feel that Jesus has left us. Sometimes we feel that there are problems and challenges we can’t solve alone. Truly, there are! Just like Jesus had worked so many miracles before his disciples, He can still perform those miracles in our cases today. No matter what we may have passed through in life, Jesus has promised us that He will always be there for us whenever we need Him.
The first miracle that Jesus performed in Cana in Galilee was not because of some earth shaking situation but simply because the couple will be embarrassed if their guests knew they couldn’t afford enough wine; the 5000 men he fed with five loaves and two fishes was a great testimony of His almightiness; what about raising Lazarus from death? With all these, we are sure that He will be there for us whenever we need Him.
The Ascension of Jesus into heaven today is a great confirmation that
when our earthly life is completed, we too shall unite corpus et anima and ascend into heaven to be with Christ forever.
Even though He has ascended today, His presence is very much intact through the Church. Hence, He said in the Gospel of today, “… teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” (28, 20). That is the promise of Christ to his disciples and to us. Let us stay close to Him and be with each other so that His promise will be fulfilled.
Today, He is sitting at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us whom He has redeemed and that’s why the Father will grant whatever we asked in His name. The last verse of today’s first reading poignantly averred, “Why are you Galileans standing here looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way as you have seen him go to heaven” (Acts 1, 11). In this parousia, He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead as we profess in the creed.
May the Ascension of Christ which we celebrate today make us better Christians ready to sacrifice for the good o another. Amen!
Happy Ascension Thursday!😷