May 8 (Solemnity of Ascension of the Lord)

On the coast of Norway was a lighthouse where the keeper lived with his two little children.
 
One day the keeper went to the distant shore for provisions.

A storm arose, and he was unable to return.

 
It was, however, time for lighting the lamp.

Elena, the elder child, said to her little brother, “We must light the lamp, Willie.”

“How can we?” asked Willie, “We are not big enough!”

The two children climbed the long, narrow stairs to the tower where the lamp was kept.

Elena pulled up a chair and tried to reach the lamp in the great reflector.

It was too high!

Groping down the stairs, she ascended again with a small oil lamp in her hand, she climbed on the chair again, but still the reflector was just beyond her reach.

“Get down,” said Willie; “I know what we can do.”

She jumped down.

The little boy stretched his little body across the chair, “Stand on me,” he said.

 
She stood surprised for a moment… but then soon stood on the little fellow as he lay across the chair.

 
She raised the lamp high, and its light shone far out across the water.
 

Holding it first with one hand, then with the other, to rest her little arms, she called down to her brother,”Does it hurt you, Willie?”

“Of course it hurts,”exclaimed li’l Willie, “but keep the light burning!”

 
The little kids made sure every effort was taken to keep the light lit, even if it meant difficulty and pain.

·      Are we keeping the light of Christ’s love burning in the world, even though it hurts?

·      Are we holding it up so that all nations may see its beams afar?

 

Today is the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord.

This is the day…

… in which He gave the mission mandate of preaching His Good News to the entire world.

… in which He ascended to the heavens, as a culmination of the glory of the Resurrection

In our proclamation of the Apostles’ Creed, we affirm, ” … He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty!”

image
Ascension, Rembrandt, 1636, Alte Pinakothek, Munich

 
The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is  a declaration of various pointers for our reflection…

1. The Ascension is an event that reminds the glory and majesty of the Lord, who is sovereign over all

The Lord ascended.

Elsewhere in the Bible, we have incidents of persons being taken up to heaven

·      Enoch was taken up by God: “Then Enoch walked with God and he was no longer here, for God took him” (Gen 5:24)

·      Elijah went up: “As they walked on conversing, a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between Elisha and Elijah, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind” (2Kgs 2: 11)

Mother Mary was’assumed’ into heave, body and soul (Dogma of the Assumption)

 

However, Christ’ascended’

It was His Power that made Him to ‘go up’ to the heavens.

This is a tremendous demonstration of His Divinity, His Glory and His Power!

2. The Ascension is an event which radiates hope to the suffering and optimism to the distressed

The interesting saga of Christ’s life, which beginning with….

…. His simple yet powerful event of His Birth…

… His ordinary yet impressive event of His ministry…

… His agonizing yet impactful event of His passion and death…

… His glorious and spectacularly amazing event of the Resurrection…

finds its joyful and resplendent finale in His Ascension to the heavens.

 
This is a beautiful exhibition of how a life, lived in faith and commitment, even if it has to go through the barbed wires of pain, humiliation, suffering and uncertainty has asplendid and magnificent ending!

3. The Ascension is an event that prods our memory and commitment to be the missionaries for the Kingdom of God

The Lord’s concluding words to His apostles constituted a binding mandate…

… to go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation

… to be an instrument of His power to cast out demons, to speak in new tongues, to endure poisons, to lay hands on sick and restore them to recovery.

This is a dutiful reminder of how the Lord trusts and has immense confidence in each one of us to be the proclaimers of His word.

·      The Lord wishes to reign over in our hearts.

·      He wishes to be the sovereign ruler of our lives.

May the Feast of the Ascension be a reminder for us to open our hearts to let the Lord to be in total command of our lives.

 
May the conviction in His love, the zeal to be His Missionaries and the passion to make this world a holier place help us, even in the face of pain and suffering and hardships, to exclaim…

“Of course it hurts, but I still keep the light burning!”

God Bless!Live Jesus!

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