“Where Did He Go?”, By Lisa Valentino, Fiat Ventures

The Ascension of the Lord

I have a great love for my Grandmother, in fact she was a very important part of my childhood. I can remember waiting at the front door of my house on many occasions for her to arrive and being so excited! Her visits always put a smile on my face and filled my heart with great joy! She always had exciting stories to tell, often brought a gift for my brother and sisters and I, and there was nothing that could compare to her hugs. Even on the worst of days her presence turned everything around for me and her love for me brought light into my life.

Many times during those days when her visit was over and she was going back to her home, I would beg for her to stay just a little bit longer. “Please Grandma, why do you have to leave now?” “You just got here, stay and play one more game with me.” She explained to me that it was time, and she would see me again soon. On one such occasion I can remember saying to her, “You always leave, why come at all?” “One minute you are here and the next you are gone.” She would reassure me of her return and let me know that I could come visit at her house next and she was going to get my room ready for me. That was all it took, and I would run into my room to get packed for that visit.

The Sunday Gospel reminds me of that story of my grandmother. The disciples have had Jesus with them for 40 days after His resurrection and suddenly He raises His hands and blesses them and is taken up into heaven. They must have been like “Where did He go?”Why did He bother to come back if He was just going to leave again?” They probably were a bit confused as well as a bit disappointed. However, it seems as if they were able to figure it all out with God’s help as the Gospel tells us that they returned to Jerusalem with great joy continually praising God.

Here is what they figured out; The Ascension, is about hope. Jesus enters the sanctuary of heaven and goes to prepare a place for you and me. What? How great is that? He is going to prepare a place for me? There is great hope in that! When He leaves, it is not a grand exit, but rather a grand entrance of all of us into heavenly glory.  This is not our home, it is for a little while, but Jesus goes to “get things ready” if you will for our trip home, much like my grandmother getting her place ready for me.

Jesus also promises His disciples, and us, that He is not leaving us alone, He is sending someone to be with us, the Holy Spirit. The Ascension truly does give us hope, a hope that you and I are called to live in each day. We are citizens of heaven and our faith reveals to us that when our hope is in the Lord, the Kingdom of God can be lived here on earth!

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