THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
I AM GOING TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU.
It is already 40 days since the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. According to St Luke the writer of the gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus continued to appear to his Apostles and others and remained on earth for 40 days after his resurrection before he ascended into heaven. Before his ascension to heaven, he had series of discussions with his Apostles. Just like a father who is about to travel calls his children together and advise them to behave well while he is away, Jesus in the gospel reading of today before ascending to his father, commanded his Apostles and all of us to embark on a mission of making him known to others by taking the gospel to them. Jesus also knew that it would not be easy for the Apostles, this is why he told them to remain in Jerusalem until they have received the Holy Spirit who he will send from the father before starting the mission.
It is therefore a thing of joy and hope for all of us today, to know that Jesus who took our human flesh and lived among us has glorified our human nature in heaven. He has assured us that he has gone to prepare a place for us. We have to follow his steps if we want to also one day ascend to the father with our glorified bodies. He is the way to the father, thus he can lead us there.
We therefore have to like the Apostles, prepare ourselves to receive the Holy Spirit. Ten days from now we shall be celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, and we we also receive the Holy Spirit too in a special way if we prepare adequately for his coming. We shall now begin the novena to the Holy Spirit and end on the vigil of the Pentecost. We all need the Spirit of God to scale through the hurdles of this life. This is the prayer of St Paul in the second reading of today. Life is futile without the Spirit of God in us. God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast. The trumpet will sound again when he comes to take us back to the father. How are you preparing for that day?
Fr Michael Osatofoh