The feast of “The Ascension of the Lord” that we celebrate this weekend was actually last Thursday exactly 40 days after Easter, but because of its importance and for pastoral reasons it is moved to this Sunday. Everyone is looking for a long and happy life. And we know Eternal life is unending happiness. This is what we all seek. Jesus today tells us how to attain this all-important reward in life. The feast of “The Ascension of the Lord” is the hope of our glorification and a promise to meet our Lord in heaven. It is a reminder of our salvation, because our true home is in heaven. This is the beautiful truth we celebrate today. So we are challenged to look beyond this world to the destiny which we are to share with Christ. Thus, this world can only be a place of temporary refuge; a world of passage and not a world of permanence.
Moreover, this feast of the Ascension is also a reminder, not just of what awaits us, but also what we need to do while we are still on earth. His Ascension is also the start of our mission, the call that Jesus gives to His Church to continue His mission. A big task indeed. But before we can proclaim Jesus to others, our first task is to make sure that we make Jesus the Lord of our own hearts. This we can do by prayerfully reflecting on His words and by living according to His teachings and commandments.
We are to make time to become more and more Christ like in everything. We can write a new page of the gospel each day, through the things that we do and the words that we say. Then we proclaim the Good News to others not only through our words and deeds, but also through our lives. So that Jesus will also reign in their hearts and one day we all will be with Him in heaven.
The Feast of Mary, Help of Christians, the Patroness of Australia is on 24th May, this year because it falls on Sunday we celebrate this feast on 25th Monday. I now ask you to join me in saying the prayer of entrustment of Australia to the care of Mary Help of Christians, on this her feast day especially during this extraordinary situation.
O Immaculate Mary, Help of Christians, Queen of heaven and earth, and tender Mother of humanity, at this time when a pandemic threatens all your children, we entrust to you our nation, Australia, and all who live in this country. We commit to your intercession all the members of our community, beginning with the weakest ones, from the unborn to the sick, the disabled and the elderly. We commit to you our families, our young and old, and all who are vulnerable, those who are quarantined or anxious. We entrust to your Immaculate Heart those who have lost their livelihood or employment, our pastors and other essential service workers, and our leaders at this time. We implore your intercession especially for the protection of doctors and nurses and those who minister to the contagious sick in this crisis. Reign over us, Mother of God, and teach us how to make the Heart of Jesus reign and triumph in us and around us, as it has reigned and triumphed in you. Amen.
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.