Homily – May 24, 2020

Today we celebrate the feast of Christ’s Ascension, his being taken up in glory. The resurrection and the ascension of Jesus cannot be separated. The Church does separate these events in order to contemplate the meaning of two aspects of a single, indivisible event. Both feasts celebrate Christ’s vindication, his glorification. Both feasts teach us that the sacrifice of his life on the cross was accepted by the Father. As St. Paul teaches, it was for this cause – Christ’s acceptance of death – that God has exalted him and given him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus ever knee should bend in heaven and on earth and every tongue should confess that Jesus the Christ is Lord.

These feasts of resurrection and ascension shout out loud that evil and hatred and injustice are not the final words in our lives. The humiliation and degradation Christ Crucified endured on the cross are vindicated in his resurrection and ascension. Death has no power over him anymore.

The financial anxiety, the grief, the fright so many people endure as we live during this present endemic will not endure. God’s grace and love and mercy are with us especially in the hard work of world scientists as they feverishly search to find an antibody to this virus. God is with us in the sacrifices of the first responders. God is with us as we reach out to family and friends to comfort and support them.

Jesus promised us, “I will not leave you orphans.’ As in so many other times in our lives we need to hear that promise in this time. We need to trust that promise now. I will not leave you orphans. I am with you always.