(Acts 1:1-11; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20)

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord; a continuation of the Good News of Easter.  Luke reported that after Jesus was carried up to heaven, the disciples ‘went back to Jerusalem full of joy’ (Luke 24:52-53). For forty days after Christ’s resurrection, he was around his disciples teaching and instructing them.

In the gospel of today, Jesus entrusted to His disciples and us the mission to go forth and make disciples of all nations. Encouraged by His enduring presence, the disciples traversed the ends of the earth, proclaiming the Good News of God’s love with their lives. A love that is stronger than death. And so, proclaiming the divine way of loving is a mission entrusted to us a community and as individual.

Jesus knew that we could not carry out this ministry of love following His own examples by ourselves, without his grace. He knew that we need his grace to overcome the challenges of the world, so he promise not to leave us as orphans, that we shall be strengthened by the Holy Spirit, God’s power from on high. “As I go, I will send you another Advocate, the Counsellor” In this sense, Jesus is telling us that He will continue to be present with us in our mission on earth (God with us).

In Jesus Christ, God has become our most reliable friend and our most trusted companion.  As a trusted and tested friend and companion, He has not and will not abandon us. Rather, He is there for us and with us, helping, prompting and encouraging us in our journey through the valley of trials, sickness, suffering, depression, loneliness, etc. “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” . This is the fundamental promise that Jesus makes to us today.

Dear sisters and brothers, as we continue this week, praying for the gift of the Holy Spirit – the Pentecost, the Spirit of Truth that can lead us to the complete truth and will enable us to bear witness to Christ even amidst difficult situation, we pray that God’s spirit will work in us and through us; and that He will be in us and with us forever, even as Jesus Himself is with us till the end of time- Amen (Matt. 28:20). You are not alone in that your life struggle.