Jun 2 (Solemnity of Ascension of the Lord)

It was a torrid sunny afternoon.

A missionary priest – serving in a tiny village for a number of years – was visited by his family.

>> The weather was pretty bad in this area

>> The people of the village were also known to be devious and dangerous.

His family members – who were pretty rich – were much dismayed and disappointed at the living conditions…

…. and wondered why this priest had to undertake so much of hardships and struggle.

With much distress, the younger sister of the priest asked him, “My brother, why have you abandoned the comfort of our home to be lost so miserably in this part of the world?”

The brother – the missionary priest – with much joy in his voice replied:

“My sister… you remember how once, God rescued me from the perils of immoral life and gave me new life.

>> I was dead in sin…

…but His Grace raised me up.

And so, when I have decided to give my life as a priest to the missions, my sole motto is:

‘Reserve Nothing, Retreat Never, Regret Not Once!’

The missionary priest had experienced the love of the Risen Lord…

… raising him from lifeless situations

>> And had committed his life to the Lord and the missions.

Have we experienced the Power and Love of the Risen Lord, Who reigns at the Right Hand of the Father?

Can we also make a proclamation of the motto:

>> Reserve Nothing (for oneself)

>> Retreat Never (from one’s goal)

>> Regret Not Once (for the choice one has made)’!

Today is the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord.

This is the day…

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

… on 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!”

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 heaven, 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, 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 a splendid 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 torrid suffering and hardships, to exclaim…

>> Reserve Nothing (for oneself)

>> Retreat Never (from one’s goal)

>> Regret Not Once (for the choice one has made)

Happy Feast of the Ascension!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “When the house is on fire, people are ready to throw everything out of the window.

>> When the heart is full of God’s love, people are certain to look upon all else as of little worth!”

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