Reflection for Sunday, May 24, 2020: Ascension of the Lord.

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Santos, Nicholas, S.J.
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|"Men of Galilee, 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."|If we were in the place of the disciples, I am sure that we would have been standing there looking at the sky for perhaps even longer than they were. It surely must have been a mesmerizing sight, much like watching a satellite being launched into space. But the disciples were reminded, as we are, that Jesus will return in the same way as he ascended into heaven. This return, is not necessarily the second coming, but rather a fulfillment of the first coming itself. The feast of the Ascension can appear at first sight to be of Jesus' return to the Father and of leaving his disciples. But on deeper reflection we see that Jesus never leaves his disciples. He continues to be present with them, now in a more profound way. After the resurrection and before the Ascension, Jesus appears to specific people at specific places and times. Now, with the Ascension, Jesus becomes present to all in a profound and deep way. The Ascension reminds us of our trinitarian baptism, an acknowledgment of God above (Father), with us and by our side (Son) and within us (Holy Spirit).|On this feast of the Ascension it might be helpful to remind ourselves, as Saint Ignatius does in the Spiritual Exercises, of Christ, our Divine Majesty and Eternal King. Using Ignatian imagination we can imagine what our world would be like if Christ were the King. What if Christ were the President, or Governor, or Mayor? What would change? What would be different? And, how can we in our own, small way, work to bring about that change or be that difference. Then, indeed will we be responding to the call of Christ, helping him to realize God's kingdom here on earth. Yes, even in the midst of the COVID-19 situation that we are in right now.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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