Homily for the Ascension of the Lord - Year B - Mk. 16:15-20
Father Daniel Meynen
" Jesus said to his disciples, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.'
" So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it."
" The Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God."
Today is the day of the Ascension. It is the day that commemorates the rising up into Heaven of the Lord Jesus. It is the day when the body of the risen Christ enters into the eternal glory of Paradise! This day inaugurates a new era: that of the participation of bodies in the eternal glory of the living God. Ever since this day, the Father of the Lord Jesus, our Father, sees his Son in the splendor of glory, that which he acquired for himself through the merits of his Passion and of his Death: he sees, in the divine vision that he promises to share with us, the glorious wounds of his Son, jewels beyond price, reflections of his inexhaustible mercy!
" They went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it."
If the Lord Jesus rose up into Heaven, he did not do so to abandon us. He rose up into Heaven in order to open to us its door, allowing to flow from his glorious Heart that abundance of grace and mercy which will be manifested by the coming of the Holy Spirit. It was necessary for the Lord to rejoin his Father in order that the Holy Spirit, who is common to them, might be sent into the whole world to prepare for the day of his return. It is true that Jesus had remained in the presence of the Father throughout his entire life. But only with his soul. So it was necessary that his body also go to the abode of the Father and be in his vision in order that the two of them, the Father and the Son, might jointly send the Spirit of Love who eternally unites them.
When the Lord Jesus left, the Holy Spirit came; this is why Saint Mark tells us: " The Lord worked with them." There is indeed but a single Lord, and if the Holy Spirit is there, the Lord Jesus is there too, provided that we ask him to come into us and to remain with us always. This is the wish that I formulate for us all on this day: that the Holy Spirit help us to call the Lord Jesus to us, that he help us to prepare for today's Eucharistic communion! And above all, may the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, help us with her motherly care!