Daily Reflection
May 24th, 2001
Steve Kline
Public Relations
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Ascension of the Lord
Acts 1:1-11
Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Ephesians 1:17-23
Luke 24:46-53
In the dioceses of the US states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, and in countries where the celebration of the Ascension is transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, the following readings are used on this Thursday.

Acts 18, 1-8
Ps 98, 1. 2-3. 3-4
Jn 16, 16-20

" . . . Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?  This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."
Acts 1:11

When I part from a loved one, I say I'll be back.  Sometimes, I say I'll be RIGHT back.

The Ascension of the Lord:  What an incredibly powerful, impossible, other worldly scene!  The resurrected Jesus, blessing His disciples, speaking of the promise of God, suddenly is lifted skyward, into heaven.

This is followed by such a poignant human moment that it is almost comical.  The stunned disciples stand speechless, heads turned heavenward.  They look like you or I must look when a helium-filled balloon escapes our grasp and drifts slowly out of sight.  We watch it, watch it, watch it . . . until it disappears.

Something about that journey into the blue is mesmerizing.  Perhaps we're intrigued by the fact that something we held so close one moment could in the next moment be disappearing into the distance.

But this is no disappearing act by Jesus.  The spectacular ascension is riveting because it is through this action that Jesus seals His presence with us to the end of time.

Remember that He goes with a promise on his lips.

Jesus tells us today that not only will He be back, but He will in reality be with us, all of us, always, no matter how difficult the journey or dark the night.  In the midst of life's deep pains, losses, disappointments, how good to keep before us this vision of Jesus, rising into heaven, looking on us with love, with a loving promise.

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