The Ascension of Jesus

Salvador Dali 1958

Most people know what it means to make a down payment – whether on a car or house. It’s a promissory payment suggesting that a purchaser intends to fulfill their obligation to pay off the debt incurred. The promised benefits may not be worth the price. Indeed, forces of temptation may be present that draw us into unwise investments. When it comes to the down payment that God makes with us, we can be assured, based on our understanding of God’s character, that God is able and willing to fulfill the promise made to us. In this case the Holy Spirit is God’s down payment on the promised inheritance, which is our ultimate destiny of sharing fully in the glory of God.

The down payment that God makes with us is lifted up in the story of Jesus’ ascension into the heavens, where he shares the fullness of God’s glory, while we receive the Holy Spirit as the down payment of our ultimate destiny – sharing together with Jesus in that glorious presence.

Jesus’ ascension, for us, is a gift and commissioning. We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We preach and teach in his name. We don’t do this on our own, as Jesus promised. We can’t set out to take up Jesus’ mission to preach the Good News until we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s Presence with and among us. This ensures us that our work isn’t ours but Christ’s. Ultimately our mission is to preach not simply events but a Person—Jesus Christ, the risen One. Even more: with the Spirit, we are the Presence of the risen Lord. This clothing is unequaled. [Living Liturgy 2013]

Being faithful to this Gift is pure choice. We choose to be faithful when we continue the saving work of Jesus by repenting when we have hurt another, by forgiving those who hurt us, by clothing others with dignity and honor, by doing daily tasks joyfully, by acknowledging the Presence of God in the compliment of another. Continuing Jesus’ saving ministry happens in big ways and little ways. Having first experienced God’s saving action, we can be that saving action for others.

Adapted Renew International PRAYERTIME CYCLE C