HomeCommentaryThe mission of reassurance

The mission of reassurance

Christ through the example of his life patiently taught his disciples about God and about the kingdom which he wishes for humanity

Reflection for the Ascension of the Lord (Cycle B)

The story of the Resurrection to the Ascension may be the story from the discovery of the empty tomb to the discovery of the eternal Holy Presence.

If the mysteriously silent grave has come to symbolize a community of disciples gripped with fear and uncertainty over the loss of their earthly leader Jesus, then the mysteriously visible “apparition” of the Christ’s ascent into heaven is the culmination of a series of supernatural promises that their leader never left … and will never leave them. 

For the disciples, it may have been an emotional forty-day roller-coaster journey from “the lack of hope” to “the fullness of reassurance.” 

It was the most fitting preparation for the disciples in a more confident waiting for the coming of and the perpetual guidance of the Spirit. And for us today, it is also a relevant testimony that the Easter event is miraculously true, that the body of the Christ was indeed raised from the crucified remains of the enigmatic Jewish prophet.

The story of the Resurrection to the Ascension may as well be the story from the dramatic ending of the Nazarene’s ministry to the poor and marginalized against the oppression and abuse of power in first-century Palestine, to the beginnings of our own mission to serve the kingdom of God. 

Here, in what may have been a tearful yet joyful parting of the triumphant Christ from his beloved disciples, we find the roots of our calling to help achieve for our Father the goal of a sustainable justice and peace.

An image of the Risen Lord is displayed at the Manila Cathedral for the Easter Sunday celebrations on April 4, 2021. (Photo by Jire Carreon)
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In the brief period that he mingled with his disciples before his inevitable departure, amidst all the anxieties over what the future holds for them, Christ through the example of his life patiently taught them about God and about the kingdom which he wishes for humanity.

He carefully explained why and how we should achieve this kingdom with and for God, about how this will all be accomplished through his power, and about why and how we will be gifted with his eternal companionship.

Christ wisely prepared and reassured us for the perilous mission that must be undertaken in reassuring the rest of humanity of the infinity of God’s love.

So, by the time of the parting in the Ascension, they were ready to begin this mission for the world, proclaiming hereafter that all who desire the way of justice and peace will find divine salvation, and that all who choose the path of oppression and chaos will incur divine retribution. 

Christ lovingly exhorted us to be steadfast and faithful, to uphold an indomitable charity and selflessness in order for his militant body after being raised, may remain one, complete and united in the Spirit. And it is also at this parting that he promised to give each of us the needed grace from the generosity of this Spirit, so that we may continue building up this body – our Church – to full maturity.

Brother Jess Matias is a professed brother of the Secular Franciscan Order. He serves as minister of the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Fraternity at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mandaluyong City, coordinator of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups of the Capuchins in the Philippines and prison counselor and catechist for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of LiCAS.news.

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