(Luke 24:49-53 ESV)
Today we celebrate Jesus’ return to His rightful place in glory at the right hand of God the Father. While His return into heaven marks the completion of His earthly life and ministry, it marks also the beginning of things to come. First, Jesus goes before His disciples to prepare a place for them. Secondly, His departure allowed the promised Holy Spirit to descend. Jesus’ ascension, in essence inaugurates a season a preparation.
Jesus states that He goes to prepare a place for His disciples, which includes all who place their faith in Him, until He returns at the Second Coming to gather them all to Himself. Have you ever dwelt upon that fact? He is not removed from us, but is at work. Jesus is transforming us, and all of creation, to be with Him forever. He is bringing that work about daily. As we grow in His likeness, and as He restores all around us, we are moving ever closer to that Day. However, this process of sanctification, growing in holiness, and enrolling others, or making disciples, is something we do not do in our own strength or resources. Rather, it is done in and through us as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, who resides in us through baptism and our turning to faith in Jesus.
Jesus’ departure also marked a season of preparation for the disciples as in following days they were instructed to wait for the promised Holy Spirit who would descend upon them enabling them to teach and do all that Jesus instructed. Find ways to prepare your heart for Pentecost on May 20. Be watchful and wait upon the Lord as the apostles did. Carve out extra more time to dedicate yourself anew to serve Him in next week. Ask the Lord for avenues to reach out to others and explore opportunities to serve at Saint Barnabas. Give your best to the Lord by presenting yourself, as we pray weekly in the Eucharistic prayer, as a living sacrifice to Jesus in the ways you order your days, offer your time, and give of your resources to the advancement of the Kingdom.