Today we celebrate the Ascension of our Blessed Lord. It is a day that should fill us with Joy and awe. In our first reading from the book of Acts, we have St. Luke telling us about the Ascension of our Lord. Luke is known as a great historian and the one who gives us the most about the early life of our Lord. Here he is writing to “Theophilus”, which means friend of God. He is relating what happened after the gospel narrative. Our blessed Lord appeared to the disciples many times after the resurrection. Remember the “road to Emmaus” story, and the fish on the beach etc. When I was a boy and would become depressed, my mother would ask why I was “down in the dumps”. I would explain why I was feeling blue and after some words of comfort she would tell me to “You have been sad long enough. It is time to dust yourself off, lift your head up, put your shoulders back and smile, and you will soon feel better”. She was right. It is a wonderful gift that mothers have when it comes to insights about their children. We can use the Ascension as a way to meditate and to remind us to keep our heads held high and to await the return of our glorious Savior.
In our second reading, we have great words of mysticism. St. Paul writing to the Ephesians tells them to remember that Christ rules in Heaven and is above every principality and dominion. Do we ever think about this? The God of the universe, the ruler and creator of all, the one above all things, loves you…and me. How cool is that! Think about it for a few minutes and soon you will have an attitude of gratitude. Finally, we have the gospel from St. Matthew who tells us to go into all nations beginning at Jerusalem preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins, baptizing and sharing the gospel telling the story of Jesus. This too is something to think about. Christianity has been preached all over the world and after 2,000 years is still going strong. There are 1.2 Billion (with a B) Catholics world wide. It is the largest and oldest form of Christianity. Very few religions have lasted that long. Just ask the Hittites or the Amorites. So, this week, let us lift our heads high. Let us be filled once again with that Easter joy and the Holy Spirit, and let us not be afraid to share this message of hope and love to a world that desperately needs it. Something to think about. And May God richly bless you always!