REFLECTION FOR TODAY
May 16, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mk. 16:15-16
Today, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven. The Ascension is the feast of Hope and Glorification. The purpose of the Ascension of the Lord is first to praise God for the unique glory He bestowed on His Son Jesus Christ as a reward for having carried out in the world the task of saving the human person
Secondly, the Ascension is to make us Christians aware that, in Jesus’ plan, we are now the ones to carry out the task that He came to accomplish in the world, which is to lead the human person to salvation. So, the Ascension marks the end of Jesus’ mission on earth and the beginning of the mission of His disciples. So, this feast marks the beginning of our Christian ministry and work of leading others to salvation in Christ Jesus.
In our gospel reference today, Jesus gave the disciple the mandate to continue his ministry of proclaiming the gospel to the whole world. The mandate and power give to the disciples of Jesus points to the apostolic mission, which continues the work of Jesus even beyond Israel. Just as Jesus encountered opposition to his healing work and proclamation of the kingdom, so would the disciples encounter when doing things in “His name”.
On this Ascension, we rejoice because Jesus calls us to share in his glory. We are glad because He has entrusted us with the task of winning souls for God. When Jesus entered heaven, he did not close the door behind him, rather he left it open for everyone to enter. As Christian, are we working toward entering through that door?
As a feast of Hope and glorification, the Ascension of the Lord reminds us that when we finish our earthly task, we will be glorified. It calls us to know that there will be reward/punishment for all. The Ascension calls us to think of our destination. Where will the work we are doing today take us? Do you think the work you are doing on earth today will merit a place for you in the kingdom of God?
Reflect, today, upon your calling to not only share in this glorious moment of the Ascension of Jesus but also your calling to go forth and to do all you can to draw others into this new life. Reflect upon Jesus, who also speaks to you today to invite you to bring others to that mountain. By teaching friends, family, and all with whom God has entrusted to you to share the Gospel, you fulfill Christ’s mission to “go into the whole world” to gather the scattered people into the one-fold of Christ to ascend with Him one day into eternity.
My ascended Jesus, all things throughout history were but a preparation for the moment when You drew fallen humanity into Heaven to be with Your Father forever. Help me to always heed Your holy words, so that I, too, will share in Your Ascension. Use me, Lord Jesus, to also go forth and to draw many others to You so that the Kingdom will be filled with all those whom You have called. Jesus, I trust in You.