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The Ascension of the Lord (C)

Ascension leads to anticipation…

By Anne Marie Richardson

LUKE 24:46–53

Forty days have passed since we celebrated that glorious redeeming event of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. During these 40 days, we have been reading of the events of those bygone days when He had walked on Earth before His ascension.

This act of ascending was an indication of the end of the earthly ministry of Jesus which had started three years prior. He had continued this ministry as He appeared here and there during this 40-day period.

Now that His earthly mission was done it was time for Him to leave so that the Advocate could come and empower them and enable them to do “even greater things than He had done” (Jn 14:12).

As He prepared His disciples, He had told them that He had to go, “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you,” (Jn 16:7), hence His going – His ascension.

Who is this Advocate; what is He about? This is the Advocate who would clothe them “with power from on high” (Lk 24:49).

There are times in life when we must choose to let go of an item, an idea, or even a person, and trust that it is the right decision that we have made. At such times when we weigh our options, we do not seem to have much of a choice, but we decide and trust that we have made the right decision.

Did the disciples feel that way when they had to choose to let Him go? Did they understand that better was to come and that they could advance no further in their movement, their growth, if they did not let Him go?

But then they didn’t really have a choice, did they? They were taken outside the city and there they had the special privilege of seeing Jesus ascend – just as Elisha had seen Elijah ascend centuries before (2 Kgs 2: 9–12).

Elisha had asked for, and had received, a double portion of the anointing when he had seen Elijah ascend; his miracles were many afterwards (2 Kings 4 and 5). Similarly, having been promised power from on high, can we believe that the disciples would have tremendous power after they had seen Jesus ascend into Heaven?

A reading of the Book of Acts certainly answers that question as it shows us the mighty deeds that they had accomplished.

The act of the ascension, of Jesus’ leaving, had set the disciples on a path of waiting in intense anticipation for that promise, for Jesus had mentioned that He would not leave them orphaned, but that He would come to them and manifest Himself in them (Jn 14:18–21).

Were they now to wait for a restored physical presence? But our Creed tells us, “He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” There seemed to be a permanence about that!

Ten days after His ascending, as the disciples were gathered in the upper room, they were made to realise that this new presence was a spiritual presence which would now afford their Master an availability, not just to the 12 of them, but to ALL who loved Him and opened their hearts to Him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” (Jn 14:23).

It then became their passion to spread the news of this new presence, and He would confirm the power of this indwelling presence with the signs and wonders that accompanied them (Mk 16:20).


Lord, open our hearts so that we would always stay connected to You and be empowered with Your indwelling presence. Amen.


The gospel meditations for May were by Anne Marie Richardson, a retired educator, and a parishioner of the Santa Rosa/Malabar cluster.