The words of our sister, St Rose Philippine Duchesne, “Never forget that the road to Heaven is the Way of the Cross.’’  are fitting for this Solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus Christ. The cross of Christ won for us the victory that we could never have won for ourselves.   With the death of Jesus, our sins became powerless.  Jesus’ death doesn’t end his life and story. His death is a springboard to new, immortal life. The resurrection of Jesus therefore holds true for us: “Because I live, you will also live” (John 14:19). God justifies us through Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus “was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25). Through the cross, death, and resurrection, Jesus Christ embraces new life with the Father but we also receive new life, hope, and empowerment to continue the Mission of Christ.

Jesus is enthroned in heaven; After the resurrection, Christ then ascended into heaven.  What is the meaning of Ascension for us Christians? When Jesus ascends into heaven, He is enthroned by God the Father.  Jesus now reigns alongside God in heaven.  This is appropriate to call Him Lord as well as Messiah (Acts 2:36).  It brings us joy and sure hope of knowing that we have a constant intercessor seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven.  Jesus’ position in heaven means that we may also approach God with confidence through him.

No more barriers between heaven and earth; Jesus’ ascension removes the barrier between heaven and earth.  Jesus transcends all physical space and time. He reshapes our belief as Christians and this gives us confidence that our Lord Jesus Christ is very much alive and present among us.  He is no longer confined to any physical space or time but He is fully alive and present among us.   His presence in heaven means that He is there, making the way for us and ready to welcome us as revealed by Stephen in Acts 7:55-56.  

 The Unstoppable Presence of the Holy Spirit; Jesus ’ ascension to heaven, does not leave us alone.  In the first reading, Jesus gives hope to his disciples and assures them of the Holy Spirit who would guide them to carry on with the mission of proclaiming God’s Kingdom “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8). It is clear that the Holy Spirit empowered the Disciples to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the new frontiers. The mission of Christ will persist because of the unstoppable power of the Holy Spirit as indicated in the Gospel:“….Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” (Mk16:15-20).

The unwavering presence of God among us; The ascension of Jesus into heaven means that he can still appear to us in whatever way he chooses.  As we may recall the desert experience of the Israelites en route to the Promised Land, the CLOUD symbolized very much God’s presence and Glory among them. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, ….. Neither the pillar of cloud by day …… left its place in front of the people” (Exd.13:21-22). Do I believe in the presence of the Lord who continues to live among us in the Eucharist, in the scriptures, and creation? God never leaves us; He is with us “always to the end of the time” (Matthew 28:20). 

The Great Commissioning; Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” The Ascension of Jesus leaves us with the responsibility of carrying out his mission.  In the Gospel reading of today (Mk 16:15-20) we hear Jesus commissioning his disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” In the name of Jesus, they preached, they healed, and they touched so many lives. We are told that the Lord never left them, “the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it”.  The disciples clearly understood that they were partners in Mission with Christ for the glory of God. This conviction gave them the zeal to preach the gospel and God faithfully blessed them.   We too, are called to be partners of Christ and collaborators of the Holy Spirit in the mission. As members of the same Body, through apostolic prayer, mutual support and work undertaken by all, each religious, each community, has a role and shares the responsibility of our mission in the Church, for the glory of the Heart of Jesus.” (Const. #16.).


  • How open am I to let the power of the Holy Spirit lead me into this new reality of our Society?
  • Do I listen to the sacred source within me that invites me to discover and make known God’s love to others? 

Redempta Kulundu, RSCJ