Christ Goes Up In Glory
Readings: (1st: Acts 1, 1-11; Ps: 46, 2-3. 6-7, 8-9; 2nd: Eph 1, 17-23; Gos: Lk 24, 46-53)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
“All peoples clap your hands, cry to God with shouts of joy…God goes up with shouts of joy and the Lord goes up with trumpet blast.” On this seventh Sunday of Easter, we celebrate the solemnity of Ascension. It is an important solemnity that marks the return of Jesus to the Father. Together with the Resurrection, it is a manifestation of the victory of Christ.
Ascension is a solemnity that sustains the hope of Christians that one day we shall be where Christ is. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that: “…Jesus Christ the head of the Church precedes us into His Father’s glorious kingdom, so that we the members of his body may live in the hope of one day being with him forever.” (665-667).
Our first reading from Acts of the Apostles recounts the events of the last moments and meeting of Christ with his apostles before his ascension into heaven. Here, Christ gives a very important instruction to his Apostles: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what the Father has promised.” Christ encourages his disciple to remain faithful. Most importantly, he reminds them that their success will depend on their ability to walk with the Holy Spirit. These instructions are also meant for us too. It equally reminds us that before we set out for any business or project we must commend ourselves to the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit.
In the second reading, Paul prays asking God to send us the Holy Spirit: “May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ give you the Spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you the full knowledge of him.” This must be our prayer and wish every day of our life. We must invite the Holy Spirit to take control of our entire mission. We must invite him to lighten the dark spots of our lives as Paul prays: “May he enlighten the eyes of your minds so that you can see the hope his call holds for you…” We must ask him to lead the way so that we follow him. This is because, his ways and counsels are right.
In today’s gospel, Jesus knew that his apostles needed help in order to succeed. So he instructed them: “…Stay in the city, until you are clothed with the power from on high.” We must seek this power if we must make any positive impact on our world. Therefore, we must pay attention to what Jesus is telling us in today’s gospel. As an experienced master, He knows the terrain we are about to walk. He knows how delicate the hearts of men of our age are. He knows how tough our task is and what it takes to be successful. He knows that only the Holy Spirit can help us.
Therefore, Ascension marks the beginning of the fulfilment of Christ’s promise to us. So, as we celebrate the solemnity of Ascension today, Jesus reminds us that irrespective of our knowledge and human capabilities we need a divine help in order to succeed. This divine help will come from the Holy Spirit to whom we must pay attention to all the time.
So, as we celebrate the Ascension of Christ today and expect the fulfilment of His promise on Pentecost Sunday, let us pray: “Sent forth your spirit O Lord and renew the face of the earth.”
Peace be with you!