The Ascension is a movement” by Fr Paddy Hennessy SDB

“The Ascension is a movement”                                                Reflection for Ascension Sunday

 

Introduction

I sometimes hear people say: ‘I never look back, the past is the past and we have to move on’

Our society in the Western world appears to place a high value on the idea of being able to move on for things…

If we feel hurt by someone we may be advised that we should get over it and move on with our life…

When a career or relationship get shattered we may be told by well-meaning friends that it is time to move on, the past is the past…

However, it can be the case that when we visit with gentleness and compassion the places of our wounding, we are taking the first steps on the road to healing, to letting go and truly being ready to move on…

In being gentle and caring with ourselves, we may in fact find ourselves  opening the doors of our hearts to the door to solidarity with others in need of healing…to those that have hurt us or we have hurt…

The Ascension

Jesus of the Gospel never ‘simply moves on’. His ascension cannot be seen as a simply as a case of moving on…it occurs 40 days after his resurrection…he allows time for his disciples to grieve and work through their sense of loss, hurt, fears and doubts…

His moving on has a purpose…the coming of the Holy Spirit and this Spirit comes to help the Disciples with the ministry, the mission, the life purpose, that has been assigned to each of them as God’s children…

The Jesus that ascends has his earthly wound still intact in his body…they however have been transformed into our salvation… they do not limit Jesus to his earthly form or in any way inhibit his ongoing  relationship with humanity or with God the Father…

Our woundedness, our fragility now have a new home, a new place of Salvation in the Resurrected body of the Son who ascends…

Ascension as a Movement in blessing…

The Ascension is a movement of blessing for us in our vulnerability…it is part of the story of Christian Salvation…

I once read that the origins of the English word blessing lies in the French word ‘Blessure’which means wound or injury… so blessing frees us in and from our woundedness.

Our God in the life of Jesus, has transformed and transcended any imprisonment created by our wounds, sins, failures and fears

The Ascension is not a farewell story or Jesus abandoning us or our world to its own devices.

This is the mystery offered to us as Church and as disciples. We are given the Spirit to help us.

In his ascended form Jesus embraces us eternally and universally.

On Pentecost, this same Spirit rests on the disciples in the form of light, in the form of flames.

Let us hear the invitation to constantly walk from darkness into the light, to borrow the vision of the annual movement of people who at this time annually walk into the light as an expression of their desire to have a world free from the causes and effects of suicide, self-harm and stigma.

May the Spirit be our guide always.  Amen