Ascension; Our Hope
In the days and weeks following His Resurrection, Christ sought to prepare the Apostles for His return to the Father, but they could not bear the news. They were filled with grief, so Christ gently, over time, revealed His plan to them that would result in the coming of the Holy Spirit, Who is our Advocate and Comforter. His return to the Father was necessary because we are called to follow Him wherever He goes. Through the Ascension, Christ completes His earthly pilgrimage and leads us to our ultimate home and union with Him. We cannot attain eternal life fully until He ascends back to the Father.
The Ascension is, then, a feast of hope, a sweet foretaste of heaven. By going before us, Jesus our Head has given us the right to follow Him there some day. Through baptism we have been incorporated into the life of Christ, which means we live in the hope of our own resurrection and sharing in His glory. We too will follow Him to the Father at the end of our earthly lives. The Ascension is the event that most clearly reflects our hope in eternal life.
As a people who hope in Christ, we are meant to live differently from those who do not yet know Christ. Our response to suffering and affliction, should be one of constant hope and trust in Christ. We have been given supernatural vision whereby we understand that no matter what befalls us in this life, all will be made new at the end of time and we will dwell in eternal happiness with Christ should we persevere on the path to holiness.
We must avoid temptations to fear, panic, and despair. Christ is with us and He is leading us towards eternal life. He has shown us the way through His Ascension. This promise, which is the source of our hope, means that we should be a reflection of light and strength for the world. We must seek to trust in Christ even to the point of overcoming fear of bodily death and constantly seeking the goods of heaven. Even if death comes for us, we rest in the hope of finally attaining eternal life, which is the very meaning of our lives.
We should hope for good things in this life, but our hope cannot be dependent upon the good or bad things that happen in this life. We know that even the greatest of agonies will be redeemed in the end. It is this supernatural vision that gives us the strength we need to trust at the foot of any cross we face in this life, knowing greater good will come out of it as a part of God’s plan for our salvation.
Let us follow Christ on our pilgrim way to our ultimate home, even as we carry this heavy cross, and any future crosses placed upon our shoulders. Despite all of the hardships, trials, afflictions, and disappointments, we know that our hope is not to be ultimately found in this world. We must raise our eyes towards heaven and keep our gaze fixed on Christ, who has ascended to the Father, to prepare a place for each one of us.
GOD BLESS YOU, HAPPY ASCENSION DAY.