Meditation – 13th May 2018

The Deep End – Forgotten Feast
Sandwiched between Easter and Pentecost, the feast of the
Ascension can sometimes tend to be overlooked. It can be
hard to make sense of the artistic images we see of Jesus
disappearing into the clouds as the disciples stand and stare
after him. But the Ascension does more than simply mark
the culmination Jesus’ earthly life; it opens up for us a path
to God. Where Jesus has gone, we hope one day to follow.
As Pope Francis puts it, ‘the Ascension does not point to
Jesus’ absence, but tells us that he is alive in our midst in a
new way. He is no longer in a specific place in the world
as he was before the Ascension. He is now … present in
every space and time, close to each one of us. We are
never alone: the Crucified and the Risen Lord guides us.’
It is this very presence of Jesus that gave the disciples, and
gives us, the strength for mission. Immediately before he
is taken into heaven, Jesus issues his final and most
important instruction: ‘Go out to the whole world;
proclaim the good news to all creation.’ And after he goes,
the disciples straight away set about the task. Far from
being suddenly absent, we are told the Lord is now
working with them in a new way. The Ascension is less a
loss than a transition, a promise that Jesus will always be
with us.
Tríona Doherty