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28/05/2017 - Ascension of the Lord - A

28/05/2017 -  Ascension of the Lord - A 

1st reading Acts 1,1-11 * from Psalm  46 * 2nd reading Ephesians1,17-23 * Gospel Mt 28,16-20

The mystery of Jesus' ascension leaves me in  disbelief. How to understand it? How can I describe it? How to explain it? The apostles received from Him a last instruction, to trust the Holy Spirit who they would receive "in not so many days", then they saw Him disappear, but were petrified by the words of the "two men in white robes" who turned to them saying, "Men of Galilee." How come they did not call them "disciples" or "brothers" of Jesus? What did they mean by the title "Men of Galilee"? Did they mean to bring them back to the hard reality of this world or to their fragility, or else to the task waiting for them among other men? Men of Galilee: they do not have to boast, they are always the fishermen or in any case they are the same people they were before. They remain Galileans, so they will not have the respect of those who have interfered with Jesus. They will always be accompanied by this insulting name, which sounds contemptuous: carrying this name they will not have to be ashamed of  but also they will not have to brag themselves for it. And the men who appeared were almost blaming them, "Why are you looking at the sky?" as to say: this is a bad start, that's not what you have to do; You now should listen to what the Holy Spirit have to say to your heart. We guess that all this is also addressed to us. We have always to be called back to our reality of poor and ignorant, always ready to listen to the silent voice God wants us to be listening in order to show us the ways of his wisdom of love.

What will the disciples do, now that Jesus is no longer visible to their gaze? They will remember his words and finally try to put them into practice. The first words to realize are strange: "He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Father ...:" You will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. " It is a repeated recommendation: first of all do not rush, wait, and do not decide anything by reasoning, and do not argue over what to do. God Himself has an interest in suggesting and inspiring thoughts and decisions suited to his Kingdom: he will do so in time when they are ready when they have demonstrated humility and obedience will be pacified internally and free of any concern. Then the Holy Spirit will lighten them and strengthen them, and above all will keep them united.

The ascension of Jesus to heaven it is his glorification. It is the mystery presenting to us His divine authority. Celebrating God we state that if we want to know God we have to look at him, to obey God, we have to listen to him, that for everything concerning our relationship with God we have to refer to him. This is not due to our reasoning but because the Father "made him sit at his right in the heavens, above every Principality and Power, above every Force and Dominion and every name that is named not only In the present time, but also in the future. " And yet the Apostle assures: "Everything he put under his feet and gave it to the Church to be a leader over all things." It is striking: to be crowned by God at the head of the Church, it means that the Church is not a body alien to him, indeed, "it is the body of him, the fullness of him who is the perfect fulfillment of all things." Today's celebration is therefore the certainty and joy of Jesus and of the Church united to him. Today we celebrate the Head and Body, the fullness. We, the Church, are His Body: all that he does, he does it through the members of his body, all that he decides He realizes it through us. For this reason the ascension of Jesus is a solemnity that concerns us, first of all, to make us rejoice, and then to convey a great awareness of responsibility. It is as if God told us: To realize my plans of salvation I count on you, who are the members of my Son Jesus Christ.

It is not a case that just today we do listen to the last words of  Risen Jesus, as described by the gospel according to Matthew: " Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." And although we do not see Him and we cannot longer see Him because He lives in a divine condition, He assures us: "I am with you every day until the end of the world", that is until our time is completed, made perfect by the love of the Father who has reached us through Jesus! Jesus is with us today: this is our joy. Even though we are men, that is, sinners, we are accompanied by risen Jesus. We are in "Galilee," surrounded by dangers of all kinds, dangers for us and also for our faith; We are fragile as terracotta pots, but we bring in us a treasure of an inestimable value; we carry in us and with us the teaching of the Son of God; We bring in us Jesus, His life, His Spirit, and we offer this treasure to all those we meet in the world so that they will be saved.