Solemnity of the Ascencion of the Lord

Today we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, and the Gospel presents how the disciples understood their mission and how we must understand our mission, the mission of the Church[1].

Jesus told the disciples to go and proclaim the Good News to the entire world. The Gospel of Mark says that the disciples went and preached everywhere. The Lord continued to work through them and confirm their message with miraculous signs.

The early Church experienced these miracles in the disciples and apostles. At Pentecost the disciples spoke and people from various nations heard them in their native languages. Even before the crucifixion, Jesus had given his disciples the power to expel demons and heal the sick.

Every Sunday in the celebration of the holy mass we proclaim the life of Jesus Christ, and He still works through us.

Proclaiming the gospel means far more than teaching articles of faith. Proclaiming the Gospel means making the presence of Christ a reality to the world, especially to all those close to us. This is the commission that we Christians have received from the Lord: we are called to nurture his presence and make his presence real for others. Jesus works through us attracting others to himself.

People do not become Christians through of the words of Christianity. People become Christians through the presence of Jesus Christ.

We cannot allow anything to destroy the presence of Christ within us. We cannot give ourselves over to the forces of evil that wage war on the Lord.
The battles of the Book of Revelation began with the Resurrection and continue daily. The early Church believed that every Mass, every prayer, every work of charity, was a combat in the fight against evil. Like every difficult enemy, the forces of evil continually find new ways to wage war.

The eighteenth century saw this in the Enlightenment, when rationalism challenged faith. The nineteenth century saw the enemy embrace the industrial revolution as a way to turn people against each other, against God, and toward the worship of materialism. The first half of the twentieth century saw the battle change to the political front with the ideals of socialism, both fascist and communist, twisted to eliminate the presence of the Lord. The second half of the century saw evil attack personal holiness through the media, the internet and other advancements in technology.

The battle for or against the Gospel continues, however our Lord is here with us today. He is present in His apostolic Church. He is physically present in the Holy Eucharist and in the Sacred Tabernacle. As mysterious as it appears, while He has ascended, our faith affirms to us that He is still here with us.

May Jesus always be with each and everyone of us as we are moved by His Spirit to proclaim the Good News to those around us, just as we heard in the proclamation of the gospel this morning ■
[1] Ascension of the Lord – B. Readings: Acts 1:1-11, Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9, opt: Eph 4:1-13 or 4:1-7, 11-13; Matt 28:19a+20b Mark 16:15-20.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris