St. Edmund Campion Parish, Maidenhead

The Ascension of the Lord to heaven (08 May 2016)

The Ascension of the Lord to heaven

After the first weeks living under the shock of the great joy of finding what the heart didn't dare to long for any more, after the first months of realising that the whole surprise was not a dream, after three years living on a daily basis with Him, after the last month where the hostility was surrounding Him with increasing aggressiveness, after all this came the peak: the passion, the death, the silence of the nothingness and the greatest joy: He is risen, He is alive, He is exalted as Lord precisely because He has accepted to suffer, to give up His life until the very end, until torture and death, abandoned by his friends.

The six weeks of Easter are like a great and very long day of joy. Joy because He is among us as a good friend. Or better as the best friend. The one who, when we suffer, says to us: "look, I suffered too. But if you accept the suffering, if you give your life for those who are the cause of your sufferings, you will revive from within, you will discover a source of joy that is not shallow". The best friend is the one who doesn't spare us the problems, but rather stays with us, helps us to open our heart to life as it is, the one who encourages us to say yes with confidence, the one who understands the friendship not as a closed box but as an open window to the world, to others, to the new.

Today is an odd, bizarre and rare day. Today, the best friend leaves. He ascends to heaven. He seems to abandon us, but He says: "don't worry, I have to leave you because only this way, will you understand a new way to stay united. I will send you my Spirit, you will understand things more and more in my way, I will remain with you in the unity of those who follow me. I will be among you. Yes, I know, my followers are not always perfect, but I will be there. Even the difficulties among you will be the place of the challenge, the occasion of your growth, the place where you will finally understand that life is a gift and the gift is only completely received when it is given again".