Gospel Reflection the Feast of the Ascension Year A – May 28th 2017
This feast is the call of Jesus to his followers to go to the whole world, not just to a certain group. This feast is for the whole world – to bring Jesus. And we can give it in words and also by our way of life. Jesus is inside you, knocking to get out.
The apostles were now left with Jesus’ work. He had been with them for a few years. He is now with them and us in a different way.
The gifts of today’s feast are joy and hope. “A joy without hope is just enjoyment, a temporary happiness. A hope without joy is not hope and doesn’t extend beyond a healthy optimism.’ Pope Francis, May 2016.
Our joy is like the joy of Jesus – some icons of the Ascension have him smiling going into heaven! Christian joy is a sharing in the joy of Jesus who has fulfilled God’s work and will. Even with the work still to be done, he lives in joy and them we can live in hope.
Joy is rooted not just in love but in our mission. We are happy to be part of God’s big job for the world. All of our lives are ways of being for Jesus – men and women with others and for others. Hope is based not on human optimism but on the victory of Jesus over sin and death.
By your cross you share our sufferings; in your resurrection O Lord you offer hope; and in your ascension you open the doors to eternal life.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger