Here we are at the Solemnity of the Ascension, one of the highest feast days in the Church calendar. We hear the story of the Ascension in the Gospel today, but notice what comes right before Jesus ascends into heaven. He asks for the apostles to go out to all the world and preach the good news. 

The way I see it, Jesus didn’t just come to die for our sins and open the gates of heaven. That would have been more than enough, of course, but it seems pretty clear from today’s Gospel that Jesus also came to be our model. He came to show us what it truly means to be human, how to act, and what our destiny is. 

Because we live in a world that has amnesia about how we were created and by whom, it is sometimes difficult for us to realize how beautifully and wonderfully we were all made and the purpose God has for us. It is easier to believe the lie that we don’t have free will, that sin is too powerful, and that the best we can do, if we are lucky, is just to be kind to others and keep our heads down. 

That sounds like a pretty lame existence, but thankfully we are reminded today that we aren’t supposed to fall into the trap of mediocrity. God wants us to be on fire for the love and mercy he brings, he wants us to bring that same fire to others, and most importantly, he wants to remind us of our destiny. If we follow his example then we will one day be brought up into heaven as well. Maybe not in the same way as Jesus was, but make no mistake, our destiny is to be happy with God forever and to bring as many of our friends and family with us as we can by preaching the saving power of the Gospel. 

This is why the very first paragraph in the Catechism states, “God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Saviour. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.” There is nothing lame about our call and our destiny. Now let’s get out there and live it!

From all of us here at Diocesan, God bless!

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