Ascension Presence

Sunday, May 08, 2016

 Ascension Presence
Easter, Day 43

Although Christ’s risen body left the earth to join his Father in heaven, the ascension is about presence, not about absence.  In the gospel, we read that

“They did him homage
and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.”

Jesus had shared his body and blood with his disciples at the last supper and breathed his Spirit into them when he appeared to them on the day of his resurrection.   In the Eucharist, we renew our identification with the risen Lord as he offers himself to us in holy communion with the promise that HE IS ALWAYS WITH US.
The message of St. Paul to the Ephesians is a brilliant reminder of just how gifted we are:

• We are given a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him
• The eyes of our hearts are enlightened that we may know

o what is the hope that belongs to his call.
o What are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones
o What is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe in the risen Lord who is
seated at the right hand of God and has power for the age we live in 

Each year, as we celebrate this feast again, we are invited to deepen our understanding and appreciation of the power of the Spirit within us to overcome all our fears, our worries and our apprehensions.  He just needs us to say, “I believe and I trust in you.”

Today is also World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by Vatican Council II to be celebrated each year on the Sunday before Pentecost.  This year’s theme was decided in order to coincide with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. It is Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter. The Theme highlights the capacity of good communication to open up a space for dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation, thereby allowing fruitful human encounters to flourish. At a time when our attention is often drawn to the polarized and judgmental nature of much commentary on the social networks, the theme invokes the power of words and gestures to overcome misunderstandings, to heal memories and to build peace and harmony.

May our unity with Jesus bring His presence into all our encounters
to build peace and harmony in our world and the whole world.

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