Today we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of the Lord into heaven. Next Sunday is Pentecost, the dramatic conclusion of the Easter season. The Opening Prayer for the vigil Mass for Ascension captures the meaning of this feast: “O God, whose Son today ascended to the heavens as the Apostles looked on, grant, we pray, that, in accordance with his promise, we may be worthy for him to live with us always on earth, and we with him in heaven.”
There are two dimensions to this part of the mystery of Christ. The risen and glorified Christ is continually with us in spiritual and mystical ways – when his gospel is proclaimed, in the sacraments, in humble loving service, and in the least of our sisters and brothers. “I am with you always,” we hear in today’s gospel. There is also something for us. St. Paul calls it “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). The risen Christ is constantly at work with us and among us, drawing us into the life of Christ, helping us to grow in holiness.
How do you experience this upward call? How are you drawn more and more into the life of God?