Dear Parish Family,
We celebrate the great mystery of Christ’s ascension into heaven. After his resurrection, Jesus stayed a bit longer with his disciples, making sure they truly believed in his glorious resurrection. As it was the Father’s plan, however, Jesus was to return to his glorious throne to be seated at the right hand of the Father and to be our Lord and King.
“Then he [Jesus] led the disciples out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.” (Luke 24: 50-53).
Jesus had just left his disciples and went to heaven, and yet the disciples were filled with joy. Why didn’t they show sorrow? Precisely because they truly understood Christ’s glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven. They knew that Jesus was not going a long distance away from them. Instead, with His glorious ascension into heaven, Jesus transcended space and time. This meant that He became available for everyone and everywhere His name is called upon. He is present at every altar where the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is celebrated.
The disciples also became aware that right after the Ascension they would enjoy the company of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who would lead them to the fullness of truth, the Spirit who would bestow the gifts of faith, hope, and love for the new believers.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us rejoice because Jesus is always with us, and the Holy Spirit is also our companion on our journey toward the Father.
Happy Feast of the Ascension. God bless you all.
Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.