“You write a new page of the Gospel each day,
through all that you do and whatever you say.
Others read what you write, be it faithful or true.
So what is the Gospel according to you?”
The entire Easter Season has been calling us to ask: what have we become since the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus was first proclaimed among us? One thing is certain: His Ascension to Heaven says Jesus has done all He came to do here, and His earthly presence is no more. So, if the promises of “a new heaven and new earth” are going to be fulfilled, it is going to be done by the power of His Spirit, working in our lives.
The “new heaven and new earth” about which the Scriptures speak, are not likely going to come by some blaze of glory or earth-shattering display of power, but rather by the slow, patient, long exercise of faithfulness, endurance, sacrifice, and love. Their arrival will be found, for example in the constant desire to do the will of God. Their arrival will be found also in forgiveness, mercy, and the use of those gifts we shall celebrate next weekend on the Feast of Pentecost.
The Ascension of the Lord is, in all honesty, more about us than it is about what happened to Jesus and where He went. His presence is experienced by those who learn to look around, growing constantly in their awareness that He is powerfully present in the events, the moments of grace, and the people in our lives. His presence is also experienced by those who learn to look for Him within themselves. Christ, after all, did not move out of the lives of people – He has moved into those lives so that the virtues of ordinary human beings can become the Divine instruments with which God’s work in the world can be done. Let us rejoice that He has chosen to use us for His greater glory, allowing us to be the living Gospel for others to see and hear!