Ascension of the Lord Sunday

His Presence in Our Lives

Was Jesus taken up into heaven and left us alone? In today’s Alleluia verse reminds us that Jesus is w/ us always until the end of the world. Has he still been with us? How would we know that he’s still with us?

 

Visiting Holy Land, there are three Ascension Churches, one was erected by Queen Helena recalling Acts 1 that Jesus took his disciples to the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath’s day’s journey from Jerusalem, blessed and commissioned them, and then ascended into heaven. Second Church was erected called the Chapel of the Ascension which later became a mosque possessed by Muslim. The third Church is the Russian Church of Ascension whose tower has marked the skyline of Jerusalem since it was built in 1878. In these three places claimed the place of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus, the first one was the most impressive one because in this Church of Ascension, in 384 AD, a pilgrim by the name Egeria found two large foot prints embedded in the rock believed that precisely the point where Jesus was taken up into heaven. So, Jesus was really left us with his two footprints only? Was this physical marks more important than his blessing while he was taking up into heaven?

In today’s Gospel, St. Luke reminds us that, “As [Jesus] blessed [his disciples,] he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.” The Lord Jesus might not be physically among us just as he was with his disciples, but his blessing is always with us. The kind of blessing that he himself received from God the Father that St. Paul was convicted and shared with the Ephesians community saying, “far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come.” His blessing is extended through the hands of the priest since his hands are consecrated at his ordination that he acts en persona Christi, he acts in the person of Christ. So, the priest’s blessing is the extension of the Lord Jesus’ blessing.

 

Not only his blessing that he left us, but also as he promised to his disciples before he’s taken up into heaven, reported in today’s 1st reading from the book of Acts saying, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In his blessing extended through the hands of a priest accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are invited to live our baptismal call to be priest, prophet, and king. Decision is yours.

 

Weekend Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Nguyen


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