Ascension Day traditionally falls forty days after the resurrection and ten days before the Feast of Pentecost which will be celebrated this Sunday, June 4. The significance of the Ascension is that it underlines the exaltation of Jesus and is a fitting conclusion to his ministry. Also, it authenticates his message about his relationship with the Father and his imminent return.
Last Sunday’s celebration was a confirmation of the faith of the people of God in Jesus as Savior; our life in him is embodied in an inseparable bond with God. Every Christian enters this union through baptism in Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. What this requires of us is a relentless commitment to pursue the way of life to which the ascended Christ calls us. By this we become witnesses, both in word and action, to the living Christ by pointing others to the way of life he himself lived. The ancient saints sacrificed so much to define and refine, through their own walk and spiritual writings, this life in Christ.
As we prepare for the Church’s observance of the coming of the Holy Spirit (what many have come to fondly refer to as the ‘birthday of the Church’), it would do us well to recommit our parish’s life and even our individual life to laboring with Jesus for the transformation and redemption of our neighborhood and community. The Spirit continues to work through faithful followers of Jesus to make sacred the secular world. We would do well to recommit ourselves to live in solidarity and conformity with the purpose of God for the world and creation.