Blog # 249 Ascension
It seems to me if we are to understand what a person is doing we have to understand why he or she is doing it. The goal of our actions shares in their meaning.
So it is with Jesus. Christmas is connected to His teaching kindness and miracles. These are connected to Calvary and Calvary is connected to Easter. Easter is connected to the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven and the Ascension is connected to Pentecost.
Since Christmas we have been celebrating the life death and resurrection of Jesus, among us by faith, in our current moment of history. Forty days after Easter we celebrated His going back to the Father's glory, the meaning and goal of all of it for Him and for us.
He had come to do the Father's will. He was to be on earth for a certin time, like us in all things but sin. Now that time was over and He was ascending back to Heaven. For this to be , all the rest had to be. It was all the Father's will, all connected.
Jesus did not cease to be divine in coming among us. Yet in order to be really one of us He had to be limited, as we are, by space time and all the human limitations that are ours. Jesus had to learn how, in His own time and place, in His own limited individual human way, to express His infinite eternal divine love for the Father and for all creaetion. He had to be satisfied for the time being to experience develop and express this divine love in human limited words thoughts and actions.
He had to pray. In His llimited short-lived human experience Jesus had to praise and thank the Father for a very small part of all that He knew God had done. Maybe it was something like our experience of thanking God for the stars we see, knowing all the while there are far more stars we do not see.
We believe that all Jesus was sent to do was done not only for the Father's glory but for us. We need to deepen our understanding of this faith of ours. For example we often tend to view and experience the life of Jesus as an atempt on His part to set a pace, as it were, to put down some footprints for us to follow. Abraham, Moses, and St. Paul, Mary Magdalene, Francis of Assisi and our patron Saints were sent for this, Jesus was sent for this too, but also for more.
Jesus 'came' from Heaven and lived among us as one of us so that we might 'go' to Heaven living in Him ! The gift of rebirth and new life in Jesus is what we have called Sanctifying Grace. It is a gift that makes us holy or like to God through our likeness to Jesus. This is what Jesus was trying to tell Nicodemus when He spoke to him about being " born from above", and how necessary this was for anyone to "see", which in this context, means to understand the Kingdom of God.
Down through the ages, back to the very beginning of our story, the Church has taken these words of Jesus at face value. As with St. Paul we are a "new creation" in Jesus through faith and Baptism. Jesus did not just go before us in a previous moment of history but He lives in us today. He did not merely live for us as a role model, but shares with us by faith His very life. ":...and the life I live now is not my own alone; Christ is living in me." (Col 2: 20; John 14: 23; 15: 1 - 5).
Our faith is not like a house in which we live or clothing we put on, but nore like medicine which heals us from within, and food that gives us life. God's divine love is to be shared with us as it was lived in Jesus. He has gone to prepare a place for those who believe, so that where He is we might be in the Father's eternal love. ( John 14: 2 - 3). Thank You Jesus!