Daily Reflections

(Solemnity) Ascension of the Lord   •  Acts 1:1-11

After promising his disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit and commissioning them with the task of carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth, Jesus ascended bodily into heaven. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, had not yet been sent and so angelic beings consoled the disciples with the truth of his return to the earth in glory, majesty and power. Today, on this the feast of the Ascension, we can celebrate the life Jesus has won for us. He is the Lord of life and has conquered sin, death and the tyranny of evil. He has secured for us an eternal and glorious inheritance in heaven, free from corruption, sin, death, pain and suffering.

We can have two kinds of perspective on life. One is horizontal, earthbound and dominated by the immediate and urgent. The second is vertical and heavenward: it has an appreciation of our eternal destiny, is conscious of our heavenly pilgrimage and is imbued with a thirst for the spiritual and everlasting. Today we are encouraged to see life from a heavenly perspective. The theologian Karl Rahner captured a wonderful insight into the joy and victory of the Ascension: ‘The Ascension is a festival of the future of the world. The flesh is redeemed and glorified for the Lord has risen forever. We Christians are, therefore, the most sublime materialists.’

Our destiny is that on the last day our bodies will be raised from the dead and we shall share with Jesus the glory and radiance of the eternal and heavenly banquet. Today don’t be sad, depressed or overwhelmed with the many problems, concerns, worries and anxieties which so often overtake us. Rather, turn to the Holy Spirit and ask him to widen your horizon and expand your vision so that you can glimpse the life we share with our risen, ascended and glorified Lord. Invite the Holy Spirit to deepen your faith in the resurrection of the body, to heighten your understanding of the victory of the cross and to fill you with joy abounding and grace overflowing.

‘Lord Jesus, you are deserving of all glory, praise and honour. Through the merits and grace of your life, passion, death and resurrection you have secured for us an eternal and wonderful future in which we become sharers and partakers in your very nature.’

Acts 1:1-11  •  Psalm 46(47):2-3, 6-9
Ephesians 1:17-23  •  Luke 24:46-53

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