The Ascension of the Lord
May 25, 2017 [alternatively celebrated May 28, 2017]
It’s one thing to know you’ve got a big job to do. It’s another to know that you can actually do it!
As we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension, my inclination is always to think, “Well, Jesus ascended to heaven. We’re here on our own!” In today’s selection from the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus sends his disciples into the world with a mission. The Church is called to go to all the nations to make disciples. That’s a big task—it’s been two thousand years and we’re not finished yet!
But the “Good News” today is that we are equipped to carry out that mission. In the second reading, from the Letter to the Ephesians, we’re invited to receive three special revelations: first, to know the “hope that belongs to God’s call”; second, to know the “riches of glory” that we’ve inherited; and third, to realize the “surpassing greatness of God’s power for us who believe.” It sounds like we are equipped for the mission to the world, after all.
And finally to get back to the Gospel, we’re not on our own after all. Jesus promises, “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Through his Spirit, which is poured out in the Church, Christ accompanies us in our mission. It’s a big job, but we have all the help we need. Let’s head down from the mountaintop with confidence, and get to work!