Homily for the Ascension of the Lord
Year A - Mt. 28:16-20


Father Daniel Meynen

"Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.' "


Dear friends,

For this feast of the Ascension 2002, I offer you a simple reflection on the Mystery that Jesus has been living ever since he entered into Heaven, in the Glory of his Father, who is All-Powerful and full of Love.

On the eve of his Passion, and thus on the eve of his first departure towards Heaven, a departure accomplished on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus said to his disciples: "It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." (Jn. 16:7)

"It is to your advantage that I go away." What bewilderment there was in the souls of the disciples when they heard these words! They who loved Jesus so much! They who hoped that Christ, the King descended from David, would finally restore the Kingdom of Israel! "We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel." (Lk. 24:21 - cf. also Acts 1:6) Nevertheless, Jesus does not hesitate to tell them: "It is to your advantage that I go away."

Let us think a little of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary who was also there, present on the night of the Paschal meal, the last meal that Jesus would eat with all his friends. What emotion there was in the soul of that Mother so tender, so sensitive, so loving, when she heard her own Son tell her: "It is to your advantage that I go away." What grief and suffering! For, at first sight, how could one imagine that such a separation of the Son from his Mother would be a good thing?

So what must have been the reaction in the hearts of each of them? Would they try to keep Jesus with them at all costs? Would they prevent him from leaving? No one would dare do so, for they all knew that he was the Master, and that he was right in all that he said and did. Nevertheless, was no one there astute enough to thwart this divine plan? A priori, no: God is God, he is all-powerful, he does whatever he wants to do, and nothing can resist him. So?

So, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, who had already obtained an unprecedented privilege, that of her Immaculate Conception, free from absolutely every sin, understood what had to be done: because she was already the Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit, she could keep her Son in her, in her heart, in her spirit, and preserve of that infinitely precious being a perfect image, one so perfect that this image would be like the presence of her divine Son within her!

For Jesus said, during this same Paschal meal: "The Holy Spirit ... will bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." (Jn. 14:26) Thus, thanks to this consoling Spirit who was in her, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, could already imprint upon her spirit a perfect image of her Son, so that she would never lose him for a single instant. Mary had no other means of achieving her goal, but this means - that of the Spirit of God in person - was the most perfect: no photograph, such as the ones we make today, could provide Mary with such a souvenir of her Son after he rose up into Heaven on the day of the Ascension!

Thanks to his Holy Spirit, Jesus is always present in the world. Already, through Mary, the spiritual presence of Christ was absolutely real, so that, ever since his Incarnation in Mary and until the end of the world, Christ is present on earth, ceaselessly, without stopping, thanks to his Holy Spirit: "And lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Mt. 28:20) Truly, Jesus must leave and go to Heaven for the Holy Spirit to come, in order that Christ might be made even more present, in every spirit, in every heart, to the ends of the Universe: "It is to your advantage that I go away." (Jn. 16:7)

Use Google to find your Sunday homily!
Search meynen.homily-service.net
Search computer.homily-service.net
Search WWW

To order the weekly homily immediately, click here