May 29, Ascension Sunday
Readings: Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1:17-23; Luke 24:46-53
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension into Heaven. We are being commissioned to go forth and proclaim the Gospel of life and love, of hope and peace, by the witness of our lives.
What is Ascension all about? The Ascension was not a farewell for Jesus. It means that in the incarnation event, Jesus became man by the power of the Holy Spirit through Mary.
Instead, it was his hour of glorification by the Father. When he was with us physically and could be seen is over, but the time for his presence in an invisible and sacramental way has begun.
The time had come for him to prepare His apostles for their mission of establishing his Church, and the time had come for them to participate in carrying that mission forward.
In other words, his Ascension was not only a farewell to Jesus but also the passing of his mission to his disciples. He says, "You see what was written: the Messiah had to suffer and on the third day rise from the dead."
Then repentance and forgiveness in his name would be proclaimed to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Now you shall be witnesses to this."
All the believers are given this mission: "Proclaim the Gospel to all the nations." This mission is not given to a select few but all believers. To be a Christian is to be a proclaimer and an evangelizer.
There is a difference between preaching and proclaiming. We preach with words, but we proclaim with our lives.
As we celebrate the Lord’s return to his Father in Heaven, his Ascension, we are being commissioned to go forth and proclaim the Gospel of life and love, of hope and peace, by the witness of our lives.
On this day of hope, encouragement, and sending out, let's promise to be faithful disciples of Christ everywhere we go, starting with our own families and living in a way worthy of the call we have received.
This Feast of the Lord’s Ascension is the feast of our mission. Are we faithful to our mission?
The Gospel says, "The disciples returned to Jerusalem full of joy and were continually in the Temple praising God." We would think they would be weeping, but it says they went home rejoicing. Jesus' exaltation and final blessing assured his disciples that, though absent, Jesus is still present, even in the pain and sorrow we undergo.
He showed his presence in our pain when he cried out from above: "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" and when he said: "I was hungry, and you gave me food." He is here with us in his divinity, power, and love.
Although no longer visibly present in the world, Jesus is present in his words, and we must make these words real in our lives and the lives of others. Christianity was meant to be a faith in which Jesus’ followers would help and care for others, just as Jesus had done.
But the spread of the Good News to all nations is not a goal that can be attained by human power. Thus, we must learn to be humble and let the Holy Spirit lead our mission.
In this way, we can be transformed by the power of the Spirit into instruments of Christ, and we become other Christs in the world.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.