Happy Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

This weekend we celebrate a great truth of our Creed that "he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father." The Ascension means that Jesus has gone before us - to open up the gates of heaven for us - so that we can conquer sin and death! We can live now with the hope of heaven knowing that where Jesus has gone, we can follow - into the highest heavens!  His Ascension is also the start of our mission, the mission that Jesus gave to his Church!  He said to his disciples and us:  "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." On the reading from Acts, we are also reminded of this mission, "You will be my witness in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  Now the question for us is:  are we doing what Jesus asked us to do?  Christ has returned to the right hand of God but we are his ambassadors here on earth and it was on the day of Ascension that his great task was laid on our shoulders.  Jesus, however, is asking something more, something even harder" he is asking us to be his witnesses. On one level, that's the challenge - because witness actually means "martyr."  And now, more than ever, it is a challenge looming large around the world.  But there is more than one kind of martyrdom.  There is the everyday martyrdom of selflessness and sacrifice, of not having the last word, of forgiving those who have those who have done us wrong.  And it is the everyday martyrdom of simply being a witness to the Gospel which often involves something we find increasingly elusive - mercy.  Jesus is asking each of us to do something glorious.  He asks us to rise with Him, to defy the laws of gravity and the world.  Where do we begin?  The answer has been before us all along.  Over the last few weeks, what has been the one recurring theme in the Sunday readings?  LOVE!  Love one another. That is where we begin.  Making that choice!  Living that choice!  And making that choice visible to a doubting and disbelieving world - a world that is increasingly turning away from Christ.  Our mission is to change that St. Paul puts beautifully in today's letter to the Ephesians:  "Live in a manner worthy of the calling you have received.....  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one about through love." Jesus wants to draw all people to heaven.  And he wants to do these things - through his Church, through the witness of our lives.  

May the Lord bless you!

Deacon Modesto Cordero