May 17, 2015

Sunday Sermon -- It is better for us that Jesus has ascended

It truly is better for us that Jesus has ascended. We benefit from the removal of his visible presence.

Consider the historical data related the transformation that occurs for the Apostles and the Church after the Ascension. Before the Ascension, the Apostles were cowards and thought in an earthly and human mode; but after the Ascension, they are brave and have an heavenly vision. Before the Ascension, the Church was small and only a very few believed in Jesus; after the Ascension, the Church spread through the whole world and many believed.

This is because the removal of his natural, visible, perceptible presence from us, directs us to Jesus' presence in all the Sacraments and especially in the Holy Eucharist. The Sacraments are more powerful for us precisely because Jesus has ascended.

In our own relationship with Jesus we must not cling to a pre-Ascension mode of relating to him. In the Liturgy, we do not try to go back to how it was at the Last Supper, or to a casual mode on the sea of Galilee; but we allow a post-Ascension mode of relating to Jesus which is more mystical, mysterious, solemn and reverent. 
Again, in the spiritual life, we don't cling to a pre-Ascension relationship by holding on to emotions and feelings, having an highly sentimentalized prayer life; but rather a life of faith, letting go of emotion and consolation so as to grow in a new way, living a life of charity for God and our neighbor.

Listen online [here]!