Reflection by Bishop Enrique Díaz: He rose in the sight of the Apostles

The Ascension of the Lord

Mons. Enrique Díaz Díaz shares with Exaudi readers his reflection on the Gospel of this Sunday, May 12, 2024, titled: “He was rising in the sight of the Apostles.”


Acts 1, 1-11: “He was lifted in the sight of the Apostles”

Psalm 46: “Amid shouts of joy, God ascends to his throne. Hallelujah”

Ephesians 4, 1-13: “Until we reach the fullness of Christ in all its dimensions”

Saint Mark 16, 15-20: “He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God”

How many times has Jesus told us about going to the Father! And he did it with enthusiasm and inviting his disciples to have a great desire to be with the Father. He would go and prepare a place. His path is understood as the mission of making the Father known, to make us participants in his love. Today the great day has arrived and Jesus shares with his disciples: go with the Father, but stay with them to fulfill the same mission to which He has been sent: “Go and preach the Gospel.”

When I was little, I imagined the ascencion of Jesus as rising until he was lost in the middle of the clouds and ended up sitting on high. Little by little I have been understanding that heaven does not have to be above, next to the stars, that there is much more than matter in this new life, and that this heaven of Jesus is far from space travel and beyond the galaxies. The heaven that Jesus tells us about is beyond time, measurements, distances and spaces. The heaven that Jesus tells us about is summarized in dwelling in the love of the Father and in dwellings of eternal love together with the Holy Trinity. The way in which the ascension of Jesus to heaven is described to us has the purpose of giving recognition and exaltation to the Risen Jesus. Thus, the immortality of Christ and his influence and power in human history as the Son of Man are confessed. It is recognizing that Christ himself, who lowered himself to become one of us, is now recognized and worshiped as the Son of God and that he invites us to participate in that life and fullness.

The ascension is not a departure or a simple farewell, but the beginning of a new way of presence of the Lord and is linked to the beginning of the universal evangelizing activity of the disciples. Ascension and mission appear closely linked because the exalted Lord actively participates, cooperates and works in the new evangelization. The triumph of the Lord brings with it the encouragement to evangelize: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Commandment that must be understood not so much as a slogan that goes beyond historical situations, but as a force of life that springs from the believing community when it unites with its pastor. Evangelizing is being filled with the same spirit of Christ that humanizes, accompanies, listens, encourages and gives life.

This mission of evangelizing has as its first task to make people’s lives more human and dignified. It seeks to transform unjust and oppressive structures into service and fraternal coexistence. That is why the first command and sign that Jesus proposes to us is very clear: “cast out demons in his name.” In the same way that Jesus did, his disciples must expel from their lives and from the life of the community, the demons that oppress the heart and make us live in human misery. Today, just like yesterday, the announcement of the good news is accompanied by liberating signs. If there are no signs that make us really feel and experience the gospel, it loses its identity, becomes distorted and ceases to be news. It is essential to experience liberation in ourselves to transmit the announcement of Jesus to others. And there are demons, and many, in our world: corruption, the sale of people, lies, deception, ambition, injustice, hunger and extreme poverty. They are demons that every Christian will have to fight against. He cannot remain peacefully sleeping with these demons in his conscience.

The ascension of Jesus, although it involves deep meditation and contemplation of the greatness of the Lord’s triumph, cannot lead to closing in on oneself and creating a relationship only and exclusively with God, since the Lord always invites us to come out. We have the mandate to open our hearts and doors, to realize everything that is around us. Get out of ourselves and look at our world as Jesus would look at it. Find all those who cry out, scream and fight for a new way of living, and offer them the hope that Jesus has given us. Look at it and go through it all, contemplate the world with its silences and its anguished moans, with its disappointments and its falls, with its unfulfilled desires and propose the Good News. Be bearers of the gospel. Speak the new language we have learned from Jesus. A language that goes beyond selfishness and authoritarianism, a language that speaks of service and hope. A language that speaks above all about love. Then we will not fear snakes, poisons, oppositions, or discrimination, because the Lord Jesus overcomes all barriers and brings together all those who are distant.

The ascension of the Lord is a new presence of Jesus in our midst that awakens hope, that launches us into an active construction of the New Kingdom, which implies that to participate in divine life we must achieve the fullness of human life, of everything. man and all men. It is feeling the presence of Jesus who continues to act, build and love in our midst. Earth is the only way to get to heaven. How are we fulfilling Jesus’ command?

Fill, Father of goodness, our hearts with gratitude and joy for the glorious ascension of your Son, since his triumph is also our victory, because where he arrived, our head, we have the certain hope of arriving, we who are his body. Amen.