WITH the celebration of the Solemnity of Ascension of the Lord, we are reminded that we have been given the hope of one day reaching the place Christ has prepared for us.
“If I go,” Christ told his disciples, “and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (Jn 14,3)
What wonderful words! What wonderful promise, a divine promise that cannot disappoint us! We should do everything to make these words ever alive in us so that our earthly life would always be marked by optimism, joy, peace and confidence despite the many trials, challenges, pains and sorrows here.
St. Paul suggests to us the following action to take: “Set your hearts on heavenly things, not the things that are on earth.” (Col 3) We have to learn how to be properly focused here on earth, practicing a certain detachment from earthly things even as we use them and somehow also enjoy them. The earthly things should not undermine our heavenly yearning. They should rather sharpen that heavenly yearning.
And this hope Christ gives us is made very doable by the assurance that he is sending us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete or Advocate who will always be with us to lead us to the complete truth and to tell us of things to come.
Before ascending to heaven, he reassured his disciples that he will be with them, with us, until the end of time. (cfr Mt 28,20) But he also made the mandate that we have “to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Mt 28,19)
Yes, as we yearn for heaven, we should be keenly aware of our duties here on earth. We need to see the organic connection between our earthly life and duties and our heavenly yearning. We cannot have one without the other.
We have to do a lot of apostolate which would require of us that we, first of all, should be driven with love for God. Otherwise, our apostolate, our love for the others would have no steam to run on.
We need to see to it that our love for God always grows everyday, so that our love for others would also correspondingly grow. In this, we have to realize, first of all, how much God loves us. Only then can we start loving him and loving the others.
That is why we have to pray and consider the truths of our faith that show us much more than what our senses can discover. A person who does not pray is a person who cannot fall in love properly.
That’s because a prayerless love is a love that is simply driven by earthly elements that cannot last for long and cannot cope with the demands of true love. It’s love that would be completely at the mercy of earthly things.
Yearning for heaven requires us to pray!
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