Brothers and sisters in Christ, today is Ascension day, a very important day in our faith, because today we celebrate a central tenet of our faith. That is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is resurrected on the third day after dying on the cross for the salvation of all mankind, but that today, most importantly, we celebrate the glorification of God, in which Christ, who had descended to this world as a humble man, returns to His glory in heaven as the divine God.
For Christ, our Messiah and our Lord, is both fully man and fully divine at the same time, with both of His human and divine nature united indivisibly in a mysterious and holy link that is beyond our best understanding. In Christ, who had been made incarnate to be a lowly human like us through His birth in Mary, His mother, lies our salvation, and our only hope.
Because, Christ, who is the Lamb of God, gave up Himself to be the sacrifice for the sake of our sins, just as God instructed the people of Israel to sacrifice unblemished lambs to erase their sins and their unworthiness before God. Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God is not merely unblemished, but also perfect, and as the only perfect and worthy sacrifice to take away all the sins of the world, once and for all, through the sacrifice He made on Calvary.
We celebrate this every time we celebrate the Mass, in which the bread and the wine that we offer are truly turned into the Precious Body and the Precious Blood of the Lamb, which He Himself had offered to His disciples at His last supper, so that He will continue to live in them, and therefore remain within us, that He will be within us, and therefore belong to Him and the Father. We have all been mark as His own, and we will not be lost, as long as we keep Him ever in our hearts, and invoke Him in all our actions.
He may be no longer with us in physical form, because He was indeed taken up to heaven with His glorious Ascension, when He parted ways from His disciples and left physically this world, but He actually remains with us, within all of us, that we are empowered with His presence. He granted us the Holy Spirit, the Helper, which came to the Apostles at Pentecost, and from them, the Holy Spirit is passed down to us, with the Sacrament of Baptism and strengthened at Confirmation, the fire of the spirit is burning with us, the living symbol of Christ’s presence within each one of us.
This Spirit that we have within each of us will stay dormant if we do not do anything to make use of the gifts that the Spirit had granted within each of us. Yes, all of us have the power and ability to make the difference, in our own lives, and in the lives of many of those who are around us. The Spirit has planted within us the seeds of faith and love, and these seeds will not sprout unless we provide them with ever greater faith and love, that can only be provided through solid and true actions made in the name of the Lord, and reflecting that we truly are God’s children.
If we allow the Holy Spirit to grow within us and use our beings to bring about love and peace in both ourselves and those around us, it will allow us to grow and bear much fruit, fruits of love and blessings, the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Christ who was taken up on Ascension will come again as He promised all of us, in His Second Coming, which is coming soon. When He comes again, He will see if we, the plants that He, the seed spreader, had grown to the results that He wants.
If we do not bear any fruit, like that of the barren tree, He would destroy us and curse us, because we have not bear any fruit, despite having been planted with seeds of faith. Just like those who had been given money by the master to be invested, but wasted the money in idleness, and did not invest it to let the value of the money to grow for profits. In this, the love that God had given us had become useless, because love cannot just remain within ourselves, because love is between us and another party, and remember that the Lord Himself had commanded us to love both Himself, and our fellow brethren.
The Lord Himself has told us that to love the least and weakest of our brethren, we have loved Him. That is why to just love the Lord alone, is in fact not sufficient, because this love that we have is not perfect, and can only be made perfect by us also loving our fellow brethren, particularly those who lacks, and those who are weakest and persecuted. Therefore, only in living our faith, and using the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed in us that we can truly bear fruit and be found worthy when Christ once again comes into this world to judge it.
He will welcome and congratulate us, if we had done what we can to fulfill His wishes and His commandments. He will say to us, “Well done, My faithful servants. Come and take your rightful place at My Kingdom.” But if we do not make use of the chance we have now, and waste it on idleness, or worse, that is to spurn God’s love and Spirit, and indulge instead in the worldly temptations and pleasures and the world of hatred, we would be banished by the Lord from His presence, because we will be found unworthy of Him.
The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ therefore, serves also as a reminder. Indeed, we rejoice in His glorification and ascension in heaven, to take up His rightful place at the right hand of the Father, but as the angels had said to the disciples on that day, that Christ will come again and that time when He comes again, He will judge the world and gather His faithful ones to Himself while banishing those who strayed from His way, together with Satan and his fallen angels, into the eternal damnation that awaits them.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, today, let us not be complacent, and let us strive to be always ready for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, which indeed will come soon, and will come at a time when many are at their most unprepared moments. Do not be caught unprepared, and let us make sure that all of us, from now on, put Christ at the very centre of our lives, and reflect Christ in all our thoughts, our words, and our actions, that we show that we belong to Christ and to Him alone.
Love one another and love God with all our hearts, our minds, and our beings. Put our trust completely in Him, and let Him transform us with His Holy Spirit, and bear much fruit in us, the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Remember that Christ ascended to heaven, is always within all of us, with all of us serving as the Holy Temples of His Divine Presence. May God be with all of us, always, till the end of time. Amen.