Beloved Jesus, what a joy it must have been for You to return to the Father after having accomplished Your work! You were “for a short while made less than the angels” (Heb 2:9), but now You return to the fullness of glory, with which You will return at the end of time.
You had announced the coming of the Paraclete (cf. Jn 16:7), who makes us Your witnesses to the ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8).
But, Dearest Jesus, it seems that today we are no longer as full of the fire of the Holy Spirit as the Apostles and the Church were at the beginning. Yet He, our divine Friend, has come down and has not changed, why does His fire hardly burn, and why is it that we are too busy with earthly things instead of heavenly things?
It is precisely the Feast we celebrate today that raises our gaze to the heavenly reality, which is our true homeland (cf. Phil 3:20). In the presence of the disciples, You were lifted up and a cloud hid You from their eyes (cf. Acts 1:9). They could only stare up at the sky, watching You go… Indeed their hearts were overwhelmed by all that You had taught them during the forty days after Your Resurrection!
And now, Most Beloved Lord, You are returning to the Father… Perhaps the disciples would have preferred to go with You and, frankly, most of us would too! Will You remember us in Your Heavenly Kingdom? Please do not forget us while we are down here on earth, with its many plagues….
But You will not forget us! You will not! “Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, feel no pity for the child she has borne? Even if these were to forget, I shall not forget you.” (Isa 49:15)
You went ahead to prepare a place for us (cf. Jn 14:2-3).
The angels, our heavenly friends, remind us that You will return, just as You announced (cf. Acts 1:10-11). May we be consumed with longing for You and may our hearts yearn for eternity, where the tears of our eyes will be wiped away and we will be able to contemplate You face to face! But You have given us a mission in the time of our earthly life, and You will return to judge the living and the dead. You want to meet Your Church as a watchful bride; men are to be prepared for Your Second Coming.
We do not know how near Your return is, because it is not for us “to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority” (Acts 1:7). In fact, that is not what is decisive for us. What is important is that we listen to our divine Friend, the Holy Spirit, whom You have sent us.
That is why we now focus again on Him, so that He may kindle the fire in us and remind us day after day that You will return and want to find us working in Your vineyard. Together with the Holy Spirit, we cry out every day, like the Bride (cf. Rev 22:17): “Come, Lord Jesus, Maranatha! Come soon, we are waiting for You!”