Blessed Sacrament Parish
Amherstview, Ontario

Saint Linus
Bath, Ontario

Saint Bartholomew
Amherst Island, Ontario
Homilies from Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: The Ascension of the Lord

May 12, 2024

Today, we celebrate Christ's Ascension into heaven. He has completed His mission by fulfilling His Father's will. As a good Son, He has returned to His Father to render a complete account of His work on earth.

As Christ's disciples, we rejoice because we celebrate Jesus' final victory over death and evil. Although evil and all its signs of death are still present in our world, it has still been defeated. The Ascension of the Lord reminds us that Christ has conquered this world with all its current problems and challenges. Furthermore, the Ascension reminds us that we are on a journey in this life with a final destination not in this world but in heaven, alongside our Lord.

In our first reading, Luke summarizes Jesus' life until His ascension into heaven. There are two messages of hope for us here. The first is the promise of the Holy Spirit. "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem." This means that Christ is not leaving us as orphans. Instead, He remains with us through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Ascension of The Lord does not mean His complete absence from us. Instead, it means His continuous presence among us through the Holy Spirit.

The second is the promise of His second coming or Parousia. So today, we celebrate that Christ has gone to His kingdom in heaven to prepare a place for us. One day, He will return to take us to be eternally with Him in that place. However, it is essential to note that while we wait and prepare for Christ to return, we are not supposed to remain idle. That is, we are not to continue gazing endlessly like the Apostles did at the scene of the Ascension. Instead, we are expected to continue the mission of Christ until His Second coming.

The second reading teaches us that Saint Paul prays to God the Father to give the Ephesians and us a spirit of wisdom and revelation to receive the hope, the riches of His glorious inheritance, and the power of Him in our lives to be His witnesses. Saint Paul also describes where the Father took Jesus after His ascension to receive all the glory and honor He deserved as King and Lord.

Today's Gospel reminds us of the mandate of our Christian call: "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation." Christ evangelized through His words, through works, through sufferings, and through His complete offering of Himself. Now, He calls us to do the same because the same Spirit that sustained and resurrected Him is with us. Indeed, we cannot fail Christ in this call.

As we rejoice today that Christ has ascended into heaven in the hope of his second coming, we must work hard to fulfill His mandate of proclaiming the good news. This is what will merit us to be with Him eternally. Amen

Peace be with you.