HOMILY FOR ASCENSION SUNDAY YEAR A.
THEME: THE MANIFESTATION OF JESUS AS THE SON OF GOD.
BY: Fr. Jude Nnadi
Readings: Acts 1: 1 – 11; Eph 1: 17 – 23; Matt. 28: 16 – 20
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28).
RELATED: HOMILY FOR THE 7TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR A.
Brethren, the glorious resurrection, and ascension of Jesus into heaven are ways through which he manifested himself as Son of God, overcoming our limitations and prison. Jesus, the Son of God, “descended” from heaven, becoming part of us, walking our streets, entering one of our tombs. But with his resurrection, he breaks this prison to which all humanity is bound and, returning to his heavenly homeland, takes all creatures with him; “Therefore it is written:
Ascending into heaven he took prisoners with him; he distributed gifts to men” (Eph 4:8). Luke in the Acts of the Apostles defines Jesus as “the guide and leader” who opens this march leading all humanity to God. And in the end, he will reappear in glory to close this endless procession which every day, with the death of every righteous person extends over time.
Humanity then, is no longer imprisoned forever in death and in the confines of sheol, but rather is opened to the absolute, to the eternity of heaven. With the Ascension of Jesus, human creatures now have access to God. To be part of this heavenly homeland with Jesus, we do not have to renounce our bodies, we only have to renounce sin.”
This is the meaning of the appeal Christ addresses to us from on high in the Gospel of Matthew: “Teach all nations by baptizing them, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”. Through adherence to Christ in faith and in the commitment of love we are torn from the dust of the earth and introduced into the abode and life of God. “I am going to prepare you a place Jesus said on the last evening of his earthly life – so that you too may be where I am” (Jn 14:2-3).
The ways of the Gospel, of baptism and of justice start from here below but ends in the eternal pastures of heaven.
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