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Homily for the Feast of the Ascension 2011

A part of botanists were exploring almost inaccessible regions in search of new species of flowers. One day, they spied, through binoculars, a flower of great rarity and beauty. It lay in a deep ravine, with perpendicular cliffs at both sides. To reach it, someone would have to be lowered over the sheer precipice by means of a rope, and it was certainly a very dangerous undertaking.

Approaching a young lad nearby, who was watching them with great curiosity, they said, ‘We’ll give you five pounds if you’ll let us lower you down below to obtain that beautiful rare flower for us.’ The young lad took a look away down into the ravine, and replied, ‘Just a minute. I’ll be back.’ When he returned he was accompanied by an older man. Approaching one of the botanists, he said, ‘I’ll go over the cliff and get that flower for you if this man holds the rope. He’s my father.’

To trust someone is very hard to do. It is even harder when we met that person for the first time. If there is a love at first sight, there is no trust at first sight. It requires time. It requires familiarity. It requires knowing and understanding the other, to be sure, he or she is worthy of trust. Then when we think the time is ripe we would start trusting the person. And this is one of the main messages of ascension- TRUST. And here’s the rub…It’s not US who trust someone, but it is GOD himself trusting us. Can we believe this? God trusts us. God who knows who we are inside and out. God who sees us falling all the time, trusting us…

Yes, Jesus knows and sees his close friends fall short to his expectation all the time. But today’s solemnity tells us that inspite of all weaknesses, his disciples have, Jesus still trusts them… To go and make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the name of the Trinity, in other words, in the name of Love, and to obey all that Jesus commands them to do. Yes, it is unreal but Jesus just did.

Trusting is not however, a one-sided thing. It is mutual.  SO we have in our reading today, Jesus asking his disciples to trust him as well that ‘he will be with us, always, to the end of time.’ This is quite a challenge for us because there are many instances in our lives when we just lack or even lose trust in God.

However, we just have to go on, not to remain gazing up, to heaven, sort of like wishful thinking, but to do what Jesus has entrusted to us…to proclaim his gospel to all the world. Yes, he has ascended to heaven but,  he is more real now than he was before…Before his presence was confined in a certain culture, certain group, certain time, but now, he is present everywhere.  We just have to continue looking for him here, in His  words we hear in the Mass, in the Body and Blood of the Eucharist, in the presence of people around us. He is here with us…We just have to go on, doing the mission.

We don’t have to go and preach  far off places, wherever we are, we can do it. St Paul offers us a way in our second reading today…TO Pray that everyone will come to know God who is love as was shown in the life of Jesus.

So we just trust Jesus and his words and everything will be sorted out in God’s time…

One comment on “Homily for the Feast of the Ascension 2011

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