ASCENSION – B
After a day’s work, a trip or a journey, a holiday, we always long for home. When we reach home, we say “home sweet home.” Home is not just where our heart is, but where we can be ourselves and with our loved ones, our family or our beloved!
Ascension is Jesus’ grand homecoming! In the mystery of the Incarnation we could say that like a “prodigal son” “He left His Father’s House” and by becoming man like us, He entered into time and space. In His condescension as a human being the Creator experienced how to be a creature. He did all these because of a mission: to inaugurate the Kingdom of God and to let man know that he is heir to that Kingdom. Since the beginning of the existence of man, he did not know for sure where he was going after death. The religions before Christianity could only offer some directions towards the after-life. Some of the beliefs in the after-life are manifested in the creation of the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the terracotta warriors in China, the temples in South America and many others. Some religions propose a transformation of being like becoming part of the cosmos, reincarnation, or simply going into a state of pure consciousness.
Jesus’ Ascension was both an historical and a transcendental event. It is historical because it happened in a specific time in history; transcendental because it is an event that pierces beyond time. Historical in a sense that it was the end of His life as a human being; transcendental in a sense that it was the beginning of another kind of time which we call Kairos (a blessed time)!
Ascension was the final exaltation of Jesus after fulfilling the mission given Him by His Father. He could say “Father, mission accomplished!” In the same way before His Ascension, He also gave the same mission to His apostles: “Proclaim the Gospel to all the nations!” This mission will be accompanied by signs which we call charisms. It is through these charisms that the giftedness of the Church will be manifested through the Holy Spirit in the work of the believers. This is the reason why each one of us has been gifted with charisms, some have more, others have less, depending on the mission entrusted to the person. They are gifts to us but they are meant to be shared. It is only by fulfilling this mission that a disciple will be able to prove himself worthy of being an heir of the Kingdom.
The first lesson I learned in my catechesis class when I was seven years old was: Why did God create me? There are three reasons: 1) To know God 2) To love Him and 3) To be with Him forever.
When our timeline is over, it is not the end but just the beginning of life beyond time where we can be truly home with God who is our Father. But just like Jesus, we still have to fulfill our mission after which we could also say “Mission accomplished!” And we will hear the Father say “Welcome home!”