The Ascension: What does it mean for us?

Posted in Uncategorized by fatherjimb on May 15, 2010

We are all old enough top remember the Lone Ranger and other oaters that usually ended with the hero riding off into the sunset on his white horse. Then you would hear one character ask the other: “Who was that masked man?” To which the response was always: “why, that was the Lone Ranger.” Now we all knew that the story of the Lone Ranger was of a person who in trying to right a wrong was left for dead, recovered from near death to assume a new identity, the Lone Ranger. After his “resurrection” he befriended people in trouble and then took no credit but always went off to the next adventure. But he did leave one thing behind, a silver bullet as a reminder that he was here and a promise of his return should the need arise.

The end of the story was always the same, peace and harmony were restored, healing occurred and people went on with their lives. The story of the ascension in some ways seems like the same kind of tale. This Jesus who was trying to combat evil in the world fell victim to evil and was killed. The resurrection wasn’t enough, he had to go about convincing others he wasn’t a mere ghost or figment of their imagination.

Ascension is the way the disciples and early church understood that Jesus was the embodiment of God. God entered into our time and into our space thus uniting time and eternity. A sort of decent-ion we call Christmas, the incarnation. That by doing this he made an everlasting covenant, a marriage so to speak, between creation and the creator.

But, Jesus was also concerned about his disciples (students) and promised the Holy Spirit of God to lead them. Unlike, the silver bullet, this gift was an empowering gift, one that made us like himself, courageous enough to enter into the world and make a difference. Yes, he knew that his disciples were afraid and confused, that they still didn’t get the message straight

Jesus was also grateful to the Father for having been given these people to love. He loved his disciples and he loves us. He wanted us to focus on the right things, not the when’s of life but the how’s of life.

Jesus gives us a promise (pro-missio) and a commission (co-missio), two words that come from the same root, to be sent forth. We are called to go out of ourselves, out of our way to bring the good news to everyone so that they find in us that the story of Jesus is not just another nice tale like that of the Lone Ranger who does nice things and then rides off into the sunset. No we are called to bring others to Christ.

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