Ascension of the Lord
Question: Couldn’t Jesus have done more good if he stayed on earth, rather than ascended into heaven?
Answer: This is an interesting question! During his earthly life, Jesus gave sight to the blind, healed paralytics, drove out demons, and fed thousands with only a few loaves of bread. Imagine what he could have done if he’d never ascended into heaven! Imagine what our world could be! It’s an interesting thought to consider, especially as the world faces challenges that only seem to deepen and expand. Yet at the Last Supper, Jesus says, “It is better for you if I go.” Why? His response must have seemed strange to the Apostles at the time. In his place, Jesus says, he will send the Paraclete, the Comforter, the Advocate. He promises to send the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ departure allows the Apostles to become the leaders he has formed them to be. Jesus is no longer situated in only one geographical location, and his Church will never be a political kingdom. Soon after the Ascension, we celebrate Pentecost — the descent of the Holy Spirit and the radical empowerment of the followers of Jesus. We share in that empowerment and in that mission. Jesus is present in the sacraments, and he is present in us. Through our faith, hope, and love, we are called to be the good he does here on earth!