Feast of the Ascension

Joke written by Leslie M. Walker:

I stressed to my Grade XII class the need to present themselves positively in their letters of application for employment. One of my students took my words to heart. Instead of the customary “Yours Truly” or “Sincerely,” he wrote “Eventually Yours.”

You had to think that the eleven apostles, as well as Paul, thought the very same thing.

You have heard the saying “what goes up, must come down!” Well, for us who believe, we celebrate this holy day of the Ascension just in the opposite thought, “what comes down, must go up.”

Newtonian physics teaches us that things really do not go up, but rather they go out. Our holy day is not about vertical propulsion, but rather it is about exaltation.

In the ascension, the crucified and resurrected humanity of Jesus is taken up completely into God’s glory.

Our celebration of the Ascension crowns some of the central paradoxes of our faith — all of which involve the down-then-up dynamic. We reign by serving others, we are made great when we become small, we are exalted when we become humble, we are most free when we are servants to others, we find strength in our weakness, we triumph through defeat, we find life by dying.

Our Baptism brings new birth through water and the Spirit, and our Confirmation promises a new coming of the Spirit that strengthens our faith. We must look around and see this amazing Holy Spirit whom he gives us wisdom, strength, patience, love, counsel, kindness, and knowledge only for the asking.

Did you note in hearing today’s Gospel, that beautiful scene of Jesus proclaiming that he has the power and then commissioning his eleven apostles to go forth, it stated, ‘they saw him approaching’ and yet, they still doubted. We too, who are Baptized and Confirmed, who practice our faith — we too, doubt. We tend to forget about those wonderful gifts of Grace that we receive in our Sacraments, and then we remember how much Jesus has done for us and still remains with us. So, we too, are commissioned and sent, knowing deeply what he wants of us, and so we write the “letter” of our life, and we sign it with the salutation “Eventually Yours!”

Readings for Thursday, May 21, 2020