Tomorrow we celebrate the seventh Sunday of Easter and the feast of the Ascension of our Lord into heaven. At Christmas we celebrate God-with-us. On Good Friday we mourn our sin, because of which we were purchased at the price of Jesus’ death. On Easter we sing “Alleluia!” and rejoice at Jesus risen from the tomb. But on the Ascension we marvel that in Christ we are already seated at the right hand of God.
This is a meditation on this Gospel from one of my sisters:
Lent looms large in a Catholic’s spiritual terrain, with its various penances and prayers, culminating in the drama of Holy Week and the jubilant alleluias of Easter. For me, however, all of this is only a prelude to the feast of the Ascension. I wait for this day expectantly every year.
We contemplate the designs of the Father’s love who wanted us to be part of the Trinity’s life and love forever. In Christ—God and man—we are inserted into the communion of the Trinity, we who are but dust and ashes. It would be like Bill Gates giving his entire fortune to a homeless person, inviting him into his family as his heir and dearest son. We are that homeless person who has been given the divine inheritance full and entire, as a gift, obtained through the obedience of Christ. We have been named the dearest, newest member of the family.
The reading from Mark helps us realize the larger picture in which we live out our lives as Catholics. We cannot take up the divine inheritance won for us and then live for ourselves. Jesus says: go out, preach the Gospel, baptize. We are commissioned to make this family of God grow. It’s not ultimately about me, but about the delirious joy of making it possible for as many others as possible to receive what we have been given. The Lord works with us as we proclaim this outlandish love of God to others. Ultimately, this is the greatest thing we can do with our lives.
If you have enjoyed this meditation, you’ll find meditations on all the Gospels of the Easter season in Easter Grace.