THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD (SOLEMNITY) OR EASTER WEEKDAY
You will see me.
What a promise! Jesus was going to go away, but then he would come back, and the apostles would see him once more. These words must have brought them a great deal of comfort.
Of course, they did see Jesus again—on Easter Sunday, when he appeared to them in the upper room. But the “seeing” Jesus was speaking of here meant more than just encountering him again with their physical eyes. He was also talking about the way the Holy Spirit would help them sense Jesus’ presence and his guidance even after he had ascended and was no longer visible to them.
But why would Jesus think it was important for us to “see” him again? Didn’t his cross and resurrection take care of our salvation? Wasn’t it enough for us to hear his gospel and be baptized into his name?
No, it wasn’t. And thank God for this truth! We need to “see” Jesus every day. We need to “hear” his voice, to know his guidance, and to sense his love. As St. Paul taught, Jesus gave us the Spirit “so that we may understand the things freely given us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).
On our own, we could never grasp the price that Jesus paid for our salvation or the depth of his love for us. And neither can we find the best way to follow him on our own. We need the Spirit to open the eyes of our heart so that we can receive the grace to live out Jesus’ commands. Without the Holy Spirit, we limit both our understanding and our actions.
This is why Jesus wants us to be baptized, immersed, in his Holy Spirit. He knows it’s the only way we can know the power and presence of God in our lives.
So what did the apostles do after Jesus was taken away from them and they could no longer see him? Looking forward to the fulfillment of his promise, they prayed. They searched the Scriptures. They cried out, “Come, Holy Spirit!”
Follow their example. From now until Pentecost, dive into Scripture, fix your eyes on Jesus, and try to increase your prayer. Ask for the grace to see Jesus with new eyes, the eyes of the Holy Spirit.
“Come, Holy Spirit! Open the eyes of my heart!”