In many dioceses of the United States, the Solemnity of the Ascension is celebrated this Sunday. While the liturgical feast commemorates Jesus ascending to the Father, it does not imply that He has been taken away from us. Jesus' Resurrection and Ascension make it possible for Him to be present to us in an entirely new way – closer to us than we are to ourselves. Jesus remains intricately a part of our lives, and we are a part of His life as well. So, the Ascension is both an end and a beginning. It’s a transition to the next phase in our Heavenly Father’s plan.
The Apostles probably were frightened and confused when Jesus ascended to the Father before their eyes. After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to the Apostles on numerous occasions. However, the Ascension seems to imply an end to Jesus’ earthly appearances. Not only that, Jesus told them that it was good that He goes. However, Jesus promised them that they would not be alone. He would provide an Advocate. In a short period of time the Apostles went through a whole range of emotions from joy, to fear, to relief and more joy, to confusion and sorrow, to curiosity and uncertainty.
But aren’t these twists and turns characteristic of our lives as well? Ups and downs, joys, sorrows and challenges are normal and part of Our Father’s perfect plan unfolding for us. However, through it all, Jesus remains with us, each step of the way. Lord, we trust in Your plan for each us, despite life’s uncertainties. At each moment may we re-affirm our “Yes.”
Sister Marcella Louise Wallowicz, CSFN