Basic Information

Mass Location: St. Mary Magdalen Chapel, 2532 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, CA 93010
Mass Time: Sunday 10 a.m. (check parish website bulletin for special feastdays which may be different)
Confessions: 9:00-9:45 a.m. - see schedule below

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Homily - Ascension of the Lord - May 29, 2014

Acts 1:1-11; Mk. 16:14-20

The Ascension of the Lord is an important moment in the Paschal Mystery.  Jesus has completed the Cross and Resurrection and now returns to the Father.  He will send the Holy Ghost, which we celebrate at Pentecost, Who will inaugurate the Church, the mission to the ends of the earth, the era in which we now live.

Though Jesus returns to the Father, it would be a mistake for us to think that He goes from us.  The early Church father, St. John Chrysostom, puts it beautifully:  In His Incarnation and birth, Jesus did not leave the Father.  He said, “The Father and I are one.”  And so, when He returns to the Father, He does not leave us.  He prays to the Father, “That prays they may be one in us.”  He has said and shown this so many times in the Gospels, and in our readings today, He goes from us, but He stays with us.  He gives us His presence.  The gift of oneself is the greatest gift, it is the gift of love, which unites.  And when it comes to God, He gives to us in no half measures.  He gives to us the gift of Himself.

The Gospel today says, “The Lord Jesus was taken up.”  Lord is His messianic name, His victorious name.  He has conquered sin and death and restored our life with God.  This is the purpose of the Paschal Mystery, to unite us with God.  The Gospel says He has taken His place at the right hand of the Father, which we proclaim every time we profess the Creed.  He goes to heaven:  with our frail human nature ever united with His divine nature.  This give us a new intimacy with God.  This is heaven:  to be united with the Risen and Ascended Lord.  As He has shared our human nature, so we may share His divine nature.

The Gospel re-affirms this when it says that as the apostles went out and preached, and the Lord “worked withal, confirming the word with signs that followed.”  The mission is still the mission of the Risen and Ascended Lord.  We bring forth our gifts, the gifts we have received from the Holy Ghost, and are His instruments.  The Acts of the Apostles records the signs and wonders of the Risen Lord accompanying His proclaimers, the history of the mission which continues in our day.  When we serve, we see the grace of God working right before our eyes.  Each one of us knows this, when we take part in the mission in some great or small way, we see the hand of God, we know it is not us.  The Lord continues to be present with us in the life of faith.

The Gospel of Luke says that the disciples rejoiced at the Ascension of the Lord.  They are not saddened, as those who are separated would be, but rejoice that the Lord, crucified and died, still lives, Who though ascended, does not withdraw His presence, but Whose indwelling, in the Church and in the hearts of believers, enlivens the world with the Paschal Mystery.