Happy Feast Day, Ascension!
Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
Today is our parish’s Feast Day. We bear the name of this great mystery of the Lord that we celebrate on this the Feast of the Ascension. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles reveals how Jesus, after his resurrection from the dead and at the end of his earthly ministry, “was lifted up, and a cloud took him from [the apostles’] sight.” Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven. He has promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to be our Advocate and to lead his disciples to all truth.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Christ’s Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain, whence he will come again (cf. Acts 1:11).”
Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, said that the Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension as “the expression of our belief that in Christ’s human nature, the humanity in which we all share, has entered into the inner life of God in a new and hitherto unheard of way. It means that man has found an everlasting place in God.”
That is pretty amazing! Human flesh, the flesh of Jesus, the flesh that in his humanity he received from the Blessed Virgin Mary, his mother, now dwells in the heavenly realms. Human flesh, akin to your flesh and my flesh now shares in eternal glory with God. This should give us great hope; for where Jesus has gone, we his disciples, hope to follow.
I pray that the truth of Jesus’ Ascension to his Father will offer you great hope. Despite the challenges and trials of this life, those who commit to Jesus Christ and become a disciple can, when this earthly pilgrimage is finished, look forward to sharing in the very life of God in heaven.
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,
The Feast of the Ascension always falls on a Thursday (May 26 for 2022), 40 days after Easter Sunday (see Acts 1:3). However, we observe the Feast of the Ascension on the subsequent Sunday (May 29 for 2022).