Reflections - May 17, 2015

“So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.”  Mk. 16:19.
Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.
God has exalted the first among men and the head of the Church, Jesus Christ.
How well Psalm 47 says this:  “God mounts the throne amid shouts of joy…….God sits upon his holy throne”. 
Today, dear brothers and sisters, there is a man who rises taking into heaven the souls of all men and women since Adam and Eve purified by penance including all the prophets and so many good souls who accompanied Christ, the victor over sin and death and who with His blood redeemed us.  He enters “amid shouts of joy” and the gates of heaven open for all believers.  Yes, today we celebrate the feast of a man who with his wounded hands and pierced heart by a lance sits to the right of the Father with all the power and the glory.  “And he put all things beneath his feet….”.  Ef 1:22.
Our hearts are filled with joy because we have an advocate before the Father who intercedes for His Church and from the right hand of the Father will send the Holy Spirit to bring souls to repentance and salvation.
There is a phrase from Jesus in the Gospel of John which today has a deep meaning:  “I am going to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be”.  Jn. 14:2-3.
Today Jesus, in the glory of the Father, looks at us with love and knows all our sacrifices, miseries, and greatness.  Today we are happy because we know that one day awaits us “a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands”, 2 Cor. 5:1, where “eyes have not seen, and ears had not heard what God has prepared for those who love him”, 1 Cor. 2:9, after this life.
There Christ awaits us.  That is our family.  That is the triumphant Church, the one of the martyrs of the ages and also of this 21st century.  It is the homeland of His Mother, the full of grace.  It is the Church of St. Joseph, her chaste husband, and of all the saints.  However, as the Book of Acts says:  “we cannot just look towards heaven”.  We have to work in our parish in the new evangelization.  It is the pursuit of the weariness of the everyday crosses and agonies”, Mk. 14:33, with joys and consolations, Mk. 9:2, but always looking towards the Lord:  with fixed eyes on the One that initiates our faith…..and is seated at the right hand of the father”.  Pope Francis.