Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1:17-23; Lk 24:46-53

Today we celebrate the glorification of Jesus when God the Father raised him up in glory. Today, Jesus wants us to share in this glory.

The feast of the ascension is one of the greatest and most important feasts of the liturgical year. It’s a day on which we celebrate Jesus’ return to his father.  Regarding its effect on us, we might regard this as a feast of the handing on of baton from one runner to another in a relay race.  On this day about 2007 years ago, Jesus passed the baton of his work and mission to his apostles. The apostles, in turn, passed it on to those who came after them successfully down to our own generation. Now it is our turn to keep passing it on to our children and to all people until we exit this world. To do this well, we need to start living out Jesus’ teaching in our daily lives. The way to teach about Jesus is to begin teaching ourselves and then we can without words teach others. One Chinese proverb/aphorism says: If it is right in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

If we begin to live Jesus in our lives, there will be ripple which will sail across the world. The ripple will gradually turn into a tidal wave. That tidal wave will gradually change the face of the earth in ways hitherto unthinkable.  This is the central message of today’s feast. Jesus is counting on us. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus says, ‘you are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its taste, then it is good for nothing and can only be thrown away and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on the mountain cannot be hidden…, just so, your light must shine before others that they might see and give glory to your father in heaven [Mt 5:13-16].

- By Fr. Innocent Abonyi, MSP

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