Thought for the Day – 18 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Ascension of Jesus
“After His glorious Resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared to His Apostles.
For forty days He instructed them concerning the Kingdom of God.
When He had announced to His followers, that He would send the Holy Spirit to give them the enlightenment and courage to preach the Gospel, they gathered together on the Mount of Olives and saw Him rise upwards until a bright cloud hid Him from their view.
The Mystery of the Ascension contains a lesson for us.
We must be detached from the world and brought closer to Heaven, which is our true home.
We are so attached to earthly things because money, reputation and pleasure are closer to our hearts than the thought of God or of eternity.
We shall have to leave all these things behind soon enough, however.
When death comes, the world will slip away from us and the soul will stand alone before God.
Let us begin to detach ourselves from worldly affairs and to make Heaven the object of our desires.
Why should we be sorry or afraid, or both, to leave this earth?
Remember the teaching of St Paul “Here we no permanent city but we seek for the city that is to come” (Heb 13:14).
“For me to live is Christ,” he said, “and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21). “desiring to depart and to be with Christ, a lot by far the better” (Phil 1:23).
Let us pray in the beautiful words of the Church: “Lord, grant that while we are living in this changing world, we may aspire to the true happiness of Heaven, so that in the midst of earthly vicissitudes, our hearts maybe content in this ambition.” (Roman Breviary).
Let us not be afraid of death, for it is only the Gate of Heaven!”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci
ANOTHER REFLECTION ON THE ASCENSION: