Gospel Meditation

“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” What consoling words Jesus had for his disciples, even as he was about to bring an end to his earthly ministry. He had spent some time with them after his resurrection, but now his mission was complete and he was about to return to be with his Father in heaven. Undoubtedly this must have been a difficult moment for the disciples. But as if to reassure them, Jesus gives this remarkable promise: that he will always be with them, even when he is no longer physically present. We know, of course, that the presence he is referring to comes through the gift of the Holy Spirit. And what is most wonderful about this promise is that it also applies to us!

Jesus is with us always. His presence dwells in our hearts through the sacrament of baptism in which we receive the real, indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We are not alone! The sometimes difficult journey of Christian life is not one we need to navigate solo. Christ himself ascended into heaven so that he could make himself present in a more universal and timeless way through his Spirit to all people who call upon him. Thus we rejoice on this feast of the Ascension. It’s not so much about Jesus leaving. Rather, it’s about him continuing his mission in a new way, a way that includes us very directly.

So let us remember that Jesus is present with us, even when we cannot see him next to us or hear his voice loud and clear. Let us call upon his Holy Spirit when we need guidance, comfort, or direction. And today, let us give thanks to God the Father for sending his Son to save us and for giving us his Spirit to accompany us on our own journey of life.

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