[Jesus] was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. Christ ascended to heaven on Thursday, forty days after Easter, and the Ascension has been celebrated on that Thursday ever since, except in dioceses where the Bishop moves the holy day obligation to the following Sunday.
Before He was taken up to Heaven, Jesus came and said to the people, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Mt. 28:18-20 RSVCE
So the call to Evangelization and that He is with us until the end of time - those words were said by Jesus Himself, to all of us. Many people have forgotten this fact and have rejected God's Will in their lives. That is really sad.
Before His Ascension into Heaven, our Savior said good-bye to the
Apostles. He was always most kind, but in this farewell message He uses language that is more than kind ---- language that creates most wonderful confidence:
"Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to Myself; that where I am, you also may be" [John 14:1-3]. Humanly speaking, the Master felt as disappointed about His necessary departure as the Apostles felt. But if you read that text again, slowly, and visualize our Savior giving comfort and assurance to His closest friends, you will find therein the treasure that you have sought all your lifetime. And you will not be afraid any more. That reassuring farewell message was not only for the Apostles; it was for us too. The words, "Let not your heart be troubled . . . I go to prepare a place for you . . . that where I am, you also may be," always bring confidence.
In the meantime, until life's day is done, until evening comes, until those quiet, personal shadows which creep constantly, kindly and imperceptibly toward us ---- until those soft shadows place mercy's comforting cloak about your tired form ---- until your guardian Angel touches you on the shoulder, calling you home ---- until your weary heart and exhausted nerves enjoy that peace which Mary's Son waits to give you ---- until then, don't be afraid. The forgiving Master said that He went to prepare a place for: you. Where He is, there you also soon shall be. From: "PEACE FOR TROUBLED SOULS" by Boniface McConville, O.F.M. 1939
Then, our latest saint, St. John Paul II, often said: “Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Jesus is with us always, therefore we will not be afraid anymore.
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
June 1, 2014