Thought for the Day – 28 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
“Forty days after His glorious resurrection, Jesus came, with all His friends, among them His Mother, to the Mount of Olives.
This area had already witnessed the opening phase of His passion, which was all the more poignant, perhaps because in Gethsemane, it was not only His body which was lacerated by scourges and nails but, His soul, which experienced the agonising vision of the sins and ingratitude of the human race.
Now, however, He is here with a glorified body as the Conqueror of sin and of death.
He looks for the last time on His small band of followers, to whom He has entrusted His mission of transforming the entire universe by preaching and putting into practice, the Gospel message, throughout the world.
Now, He promises them the Holy Spirit, Who will give them the power to overcome evil.
Then He is lifted up toward Heaven, until a bright cloud hides Him from their sight.
Perhaps, the Blessed Mother, was the last to take her eyes off the disappearing cloud which had removed Jesus from view.
Her human eyes never saw again, the beloved figure of her Divine Son but, in her soul, she saw Him entering triumphantly into Heaven among choirs of Angels and sitting at the right hand of the Eternal Father.
She saw and thought with infinite yearning, of the not too distant day, when she would have passed from mortal exile, into the everlasting happiness of Heaven, where she would embrace her Divine Son again, in an ecstasy of love.
We have all been called to ascend to Heaven with Jesus and Mary.
Let us remember, however, that only the innocent and the repentant can be admitted into Paradise.
If we have been unfortunate enough to have lost our baptismal innocence, only the second way is left to us – the way of penance.
We must purify ourselves of our sins by means of good works.
We must ascend NOW higher and highter, towards the summit of Christian perfection.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci