May 29, 2022 – Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/052922-ascension.cfm)
Have you ever had a religious experience? A religious experience is a deep and intimate encounter with God. This can be a realization how vulnerable and powerless, sinful and unworthy we are before God yet, we are being loved. Such experience brings transformation in the way we look at life and in the way we relate with others, from being closed-minded to being welcoming, from being hateful to being loving.
Thus, a tremendous joy is felt. It could be a moment of your prayer time where you have deeply felt God’s presence despite the many problems you have. It could be in an occasion where you have seen your family or friends being together and the happiness of being with them cannot be contained. This could be the moment your girlfriend said yes to you, the moment your boyfriend held your hands, or the very first time you have carried in your arms your baby.
This tremendous joy makes God’s presence and love ever more present in us that we wanted to get hold, to just stay there, in those feelings of joy and peace.
Hence, allow me to bring you a bit deeper into the readings on this Solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus and see how God invites today.
The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles told us about this kind of religious experience. The apostles witnessed the ascension of Jesus into heaven. That was surely an event that captivated them so greatly because it was glorious. It was their religious experience where God made himself ever present in them as Jesus was lifted up. Because of that, the apostles kept looking at the sky. They wanted to behold that moment for a long time, not wanting to disappear from their sight and memory what have just happened.
However, two men appeared in their midst and told them, “Why are you standing there looking at the sky?” The apostles seemed to be stunned with what just happened. But, they were not to remain standing there and gazing at the sky. The apostles were told to come down and share what Jesus shared to them. They were to become his witnesses beginning from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth, as the Gospel told us today.
Indeed, the apostles were witnesses of the many wonders the Father made and did through Jesus. As Jesus ascended back to his Father in heaven, Jesus gave an important role to those who believed in him. These believers were being sent and empowered by Jesus through his ascension to heaven.
Jesus’ ascension then does not mean that the disciples were being left alone or abandoned. His ascension means being more present to each of his friends wherever they would go. His ascension makes him a constant companion to all of them and to each of us now.
Our very experience of God should move and motivate us to tell others of God’s mercy, goodness and generosity. Our experience of God is not meant for us alone but it has to be shared. Jesus is after all cannot be contained in us, because Jesus is spreadable!
We spread our God experience through our very life. We spread Jesus in the way we relate with others, in the way we treat people and all others around us. We spread the Lord in our homes, workplaces, communities and even in our virtual reality.
When we truly spread Jesus, this also means that we make a stand of being a witness of Jesus, of our Christian faith. Yet, it won’t be easy. It might be quite difficult because people will be against us. Why? Because, it is not easy to be honest, transparent and accountable when many are dishonest, cheating and corrupt. It is not easy to tell the truth when many are lying and convinced of the lies. It is not easy to be selfless when others are selfish. It is not easy to be faithful when others are unfaithful. It is not easy to be a counter-culture. Yet, this is what being a believer of Jesus means.
As we continue to deepen our faith and cherish our God experiences, God invites us today.
To Spread Jesus today! Share to someone, to your friends, family members or even to strangers your experience of God. For the young ones and to all of us who are in social media on a daily basis, explore the social media as a way of communicating and sharing the goodness of God, by not spreading lies and fake news but facts and truth.
It is just timely that on this Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, we are also celebrating World Communications Sunday. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok and twitter are good media platforms to proclaim the goodness of God to others.
Again, spread Jesus today! Spread the Good News and not fake news; spread the good not the lies. Make viral God’s faithfulness and mercy upon us. Kabay pa.