The Ascension is sometimes seen as a “going away” but the Feast is more about a “coming home”. Jesus ascended into heaven. Heaven is our true home.
God made us to be happy with Him forever in heaven. We know the story about what happened in the Garden—how our ancestors lost Paradise as the consequence of the sin of disobedience. Since God never stopped loving us, He sent His Son to save us—to restore the direction of our nature. Remember, we were created in God’s image and likeness. That means that we look like God and God looks like us. Sometimes we live up to the image that we are, sometimes we do not. However, God is consistent. He loves us always, even when we commit sins.
Happy Mother’s Day. The word is that a mother’s love gets pretty close to the unconditional love of God. Yet, we know that mothers can be impatient, not God. God loves us more than our mothers. After all, God invented mothers. No doubt that the majority of Mamas would give their life for their family, yet no one can outdo God in charity—not even the Blessed Mother. Again, God made the Blessed Mother so She cannot be greater than Her Creator. The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord affords us the opportunity to be a little introspective—to look at who we are because we are all wrapped up in the mystery of who God is. Like it or not, whatever we say about God, we need to say about ourselves. That’s why Jesus took our human condition—to identify Himself with us in every way accept sin. In essence the Ascension is the celebration of humanity being seated at the right hand of the Father for all eternity.
Jesus ascended into heaven in His human body—with the wounds from the crucifixion to take His place at the right hand of the Father. We believe that at the last judgment our bodies will be resurrected and joined to our soul to live forever in heaven. That’s why we say, “We believe in the resurrection of the body.” The soul never dies, only our body. Yet, there is hope for what turns to dust. Regardless of what shape we leave the body—an explosion, cremation, or a disease—God will restore us to His image and likeness. So many have stopped believing in the goodness of people. Suspicion is in the air. Folks are presumed guilty until proven innocent. Bad news is more interesting than good news. At any given time people will flock together to aide others in need. We have had countless examples—during disasters, wars, accidents. The majority of people are willing to help when help is needed. One negative—one criminal—one violent person gets the attention and we can quickly become skeptical about everyone. The challenge is to remember who we are—part of God. The worst sin in all of history has been forgiven through the Blood of Christ on the cross.
We are confident that the Lord is saving us—molding us—preparing us for true happiness. We receive a taste at the Eucharistic Table where we are already seated at the Banquet of Life.