Jesus’ ascension is more simply rising to a different place. Rather, this is a moment of deep and profound hope, while also a moment of transition and departure, especially for his disciples. I think many of us can relate to this story.
In the readings for Ascension Sunday, there are moments of trust and confidence. We hear Jesus telling his disciples: “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” In Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, he writes, “…let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust…” In the Gospel, Jesus blesses his disciples and departs from them and they “returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” What beautiful words and phrases of deep trust and hope!
As someone who is going through a transition, concluding my year of service in a few short weeks, and as someone who strives to work for a better world for all of us, the ascension encourages me to trust in God’s work, to have confidence in my abilities, and to go forward with great joy. I would imagine that the disciples were probably a little afraid and nervous after Jesus departed from them; but they, just like us, can have the trust and hope that they have the ability to preach the Gospel. They do have the ability to make this world a better place and should do so with great joy.
Let us then look to the ascension as a moment of deep trust, hope, and confidence.
Whether you are at a transition moment in your life, or are finding ways in which to go out from where you already are and make our communities and world better for all, just as Jesus’ disciples wanted to do, may the Ascension of Jesus give us the grace to bring that hope and joy to everyone we meet, wherever we are.
Ed Nuñez graduated from Creighton University in 2018 with a BA in justice and society and theology. At Creighton, he was involved with residential life, campus ministry, and service and justice programs. After graduation, Ed did a year of service with Amate House, working as a campus minister and support specialist at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Currently, Ed is back at Creighton as a graduate assistant in the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice and pursuing his MA in ministry.