Ascension Thursday - God's Act of Faith in Us

Some years ago, I asked one of my students,  a religious sister, what she would say if she were to preach on the feast of the Ascension. Without a second’s hesitation, she replied: “The Ascension is God’s act of faith in us.”  Yes.  God the Father entrusts to us the mission of his Son Jesus Christ, to share the good news of God’s love.

We believe that on this day Jesus ascends  to be seated at the right hand of the Father.  He is no longer physically present, going about doing good.  But God in turn puts his trust in us, that  with the help of the Holy Spirit,  we can carry on the work.    We might call Ascension Thursday the feast of the Christian going on mission – a forward looking mission.

In the Scripture of the day, the angels remind the apostles and us that we are not to look up in the sky (Acts 1:11).  Nor, as Jesus reminded us, are we to look back, after putting our hand to the plough (Luke 9:62). And we are not to look down, downcast,  as Jesus found the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.    We have only one direction to look – and that is forward, look ahead.  On this feast of the Ascension,  God looks to us, relies upon us, and  trusts us to be the continuing  presence of  Jesus Christ in the world.

Peter Schineller, S.J.

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
9 years ago
Is the Holy Day the 21st or the 28th?  Is this one that was pushed to Sunday (the 24th or 31st?)  I live in the Baltimore Province, Arlington Diocese (since the rules vary by location).

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018
The coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII is seen during a ceremony in Vittorio Veneto Square after its arrival in Bergamo, Italy, May 24. The body of the late pope left the Vatican on May 24 to be displayed in his home region until June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

BERGAMO, Italy (CNS) — Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early on May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.

On this week's episode, we talk with Lieutenant Governor of Washington State, Cyrus Habib.
Olga SeguraMay 25, 2018