The Ascension of the Lord
May 15-16, 2021
Ascension – What Now?
When my grandmother passed away, I will always remember how my family – aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins – stood around her coffin at the grave site, feeling heartbroken. She was the link that held my large Italian family together. One of my cousins commented, “What happens to us now?” I remember telling her that Grandmom may no longer be “with” us but her legacy needs to live on “through” us. We need to make certain that the faith and traditions of our family are passed onto our own immediate families.
Today, we celebrate the feast of the Ascension. I can imagine that moments after Jesus rose into heaven, the Apostles may have felt the same way as my cousin. The Acts of the Apostles tell us that after Jesus was gone, two men dressed in white asked them, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” They returned to Jerusalem, devoted themselves to prayer and remembered Jesus’s command to, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”
It was vital that they understood that Jesus’ message was to be taken to everyone in the world. They needed to pick up where Jesus left off. This new way of life needed to be proclaimed so to enlighten the eyes and the hearts of Jews and Gentiles alike.
Did the Apostles succeed? More than 2,000 years have passed, and we are still reading stories about Jesus and his mission. The faith and traditions that he started are still happening today. His spiritual and corporal works of mercy are as alive today as in Jesus’ day. It is now the job of each and everyone of us to continue the legacy of Jesus – evangelizing, instructing, counseling, forgiving, comforting, praying, feeding the hungry, providing shelter to the homeless, and visiting the sick. This is the legacy we are called to pass on to future generations.
Has my family continued my grandmother’s legacy? It is not for me to say but I can tell you we are enjoying those pizzelles, biscotti, homemade pasta and sauce. Many of us have continued her devotion to the Blessed Mother by praying the rosary each day and remaining close to her son, Jesus. Yes, I would hope Grandmom Clara is smiling! Has your family’s faith and traditions continued to live on through you? Are you making new ones for those who come after you?