Homily on the Lord’s Ascension./ Mothers Day
Dearly Beloved, today we celebrate Christ’s Ascension into heaven. The hope of what awaits all of us. His promise was where he is, there his servants will also be. The ascension is not the end of the earthly life of Christ but more importantly the completion of his mission on earth. He returns again in obedience to the will and plan of HIS FATHER.
He was born into this life for your sake, he preached the gospel for your sake, he suffered for your sake, he died for your sake, he was raised from the dead for your sake, and now he goes to heaven for your sake. I remember him telling his disciples “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Advocate (Comforter, Helper, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to come to you. (John 16:7). It is obvious that “all of Christ” was for you and I. This truth should be enough for you also to live your life now for him.
Today we celebrate a great sign of victory for all the baptized. He ascends in glory because He has the defeated the powers and force the that held us in bondage because of sin. This is a sign of hope that we too shall overcome all the forces of evil and addictions, sickness, poverty, humiliation, injustice, and oppression that try to subdue us in this world.
The certainty of our triumph lies not in us and our limitations, but in that same power (The Holy Spirit) that worked in Jesus. God has been so kind to give that same spirit when you were baptized and confirmed. As St. Paul wrote, If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. (Rom. 8:11)
The first reading today, from the Acts of the Apostles, gives an account of the Ascension of the Lord. The last words of Jesus to His followers in this account are these “But 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."
Receiving the power of the Holy Spirit is both an assurance of his presence with us and an empowerment to fulfill his Will on this earth. He remains with us through the Holy Spirit “till the end of time.”
Today, we also celebrate the hope that one day, he shall return to take us to be eternally with him. In the words of the angel “why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." This should be a joyful remembrance for all of us. When this will happen we do not know. But its certain that Christ will come again. And his second coming should find us ready to meet him.
Our waiting however should not be in idleness. That is, we are not to continue gazing endlessly like the apostles did at the scene of the ascension. Instead, we are expected to live productive lives. We are expected to continue the mission that Christ has called us to. Remember him saying, you will be his witness even to ends of the world.
Both the second reading and the Gospel equally remind us of our missionary vocation. The mandate from the gospel is “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation…” . This mandate does not end with the earl apostle. If only you are waiting for the second coming of Christ that’s what you do in wait; winning soul’s for Christ. Permit me to ask you this, do you remember the last time you got angry with someone, or yelled at another, or gossiped about someone or thought badly about a friend? I know many of us can remember the details of these instances. On the other hand do you remember the last time shared the gospel of Christ or talked about faith with someone?
St. Paul also admonishes us as we wait: “Live a life worthy of the call you have received. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness and in patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the spirit by the peace that binds you together.” Another question is whether you know and clearly understand your call? Pray that the Holy Spirit will remind and inspire you of your call each moment as you wait.
Dearly beloved, I encourage each and every one of you in your devotion to the Holy Spirit as we prepare to celebrate Pentecost next week. Remember to spend the days ahead praying for the rekindling of the Holy Spirit in all your endeavors.
Dearly Beloved, allow me to use this occasion to wish all our mothers a happy mothers day. I celebrate not only those who have biologically given birth but all those of you who have cared for and supported others in your lives as only a mother will do. If anything at all, I have every good reason to thank all of your for your love, generosity and care towards me and my ministry. Those of you who pray daily for me as your child. I may not call names, but I must admit of the motherly care I receive from many of you. I thank God for your lives. Know that I am praying in this mass for all of you and your intentions.