The Ascension of the Lord is about Jesus going to heaven but He is still here. One day He will return but He is already present through the Sacraments and inside every person. Jesus left and is coming back but He’s already here. Big problem, we try to understand what we will never be able to understand.
The Word of God does not lie. Historically Jesus ascended into heaven. Yet, we know that He did not leave us orphans. Through the preaching of the Apostles, with the establishment of the Church, given the testimony of the martyrs—we are here today—celebrating a new beginning. When Jesus went up to heaven the Apostles had to assume leadership. The Master had trained them and now they were pushed to give witness. The Apostles had to grow up in the Faith. Same is supposed to happen to us. Our home is the first school of faith. Parents teach their children about what is most important in this life. Ideally parents are supposed to speak to their children about God every day—set time aside to read the Catechism, the Bible, speak about the Church. Goes without saying, that coming to Church every weekend is indispensible. Nothing should be more important than the weekend family worship—that’s the cement that keeps a family together. Sometimes work, trips, unexpected company—varieties of obstacles can get in the way. Parents need to be strong in the Lord—strong enough to say, “We are going to Church first, then we can do whatever else we want.” When I was a child we had total freedom. My parents would tell us, “You don’t have to go to Mass if you don’t want to. But if you don’t go to Mass, you’ll have to stay in your room all day.” Total freedom.
Guess some children need a little pressure. Even some adults need a little pressure. Evangelization has to start at home. We have been empowered through our Baptism to proclaim the Gospel. We certainly don’t have to go to a missionary country—missionary land is right here. So many are ignorant of the Gospel, some in our own family. We want to contaminate each other with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Can’t accomplish much with the treat of hell fire—condemnation. Folks will come to believe when and if they see the inner peace that Jesus gives. Obviously they have to see the difference that the Gospel has made in our lives before they believe. Means that we first have to be convinced of the love of God.
When in doubt, all we have to do is remember who is seated at the right hand of the Father—Jesus Christ who is like us in every way, except sin and who is also God. After the Resurrection Jesus again took a human body, with the marks of crucifixion. The mysteries that we celebrate are also about us—the underlining of God’s plan for humanity. The Body is good. God invented every one of our appetites, our desires, our dreams. But God did not invent guilt. He made us to be happy forever. Therefore, heaven is our home. Meanwhile, we are called to celebrate who we are in Christ. Life is a precious gift never to be taken for granted. Every day is like a preview of heaven—to the extent that we love each other. We are familiar with the obstacles: pride, hurts from the past, bottled up anger—they all get in the way. Yet, nothing is more powerful than God’s love for us. We renew our trust in Divine Providence. No matter what trials come, God’s grace is enough for us.
Christ has indeed ascended into heaven, not to abandon us but to unite Himself more intimately with us in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the food of eternal life.