Message for Ascension Sunday/Easter 7 – May 29, 2022

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

Today we continue the focus on the Ascension that started last Thursday.  This focus signals that we are coming towards the end of the Easter Season and looking towards a new movement in God’s work of salvation.  The event of the Ascension is not simply another historical occurrence, but an experience of a group of early Christians, as they encountered God’s work of salvation.

May I suggest to us our religious beliefs, faith and traditions came out of the experiences of the people of God over years and history.  Today we are not just celebrating a historical event, or involved in sentimentality, but celebrating our understanding of God’s salvation.  In the ascension, the gospel moves out of Jerusalem as its central location of early Christianity to the entire world.  Christianity announces itself as a catholic religion, that is a religion that seeks to transform the entire family of humanity.

The Ascension in the biblical narrative comes after the final appearance of our Lord to his disciples.  The indication here is that the historical presence of Jesus has ended, and that the work of Jesus is continued in the work of the Church.  The Ascension challenges us to ask ourselves – “Have we been faithful to our calling to do the work Jesus has entrusted to us?”  Christianity has never been a religion focused solely or individual salvation.  We belong to a religious tradition that from the very beginning focused on the salvation of humanity.

The Ascension coming just before Pentecost suggests that the Church sought to define its mission in advance of the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower the community of believers for the work entrusted to us.  Today we reaffirm our commitment to our calling to God’s mission to transform humanity.

Love and Blessings