Ascension Day

Once I was mentored by an elderly priest and he would always say, “May misyon pa” (there still is a mission). A woman was able to recover from a chronic disease, he would say, “May misyon pa.” A man was able to recover from a motorcycle accident, “May misyon pa.” People in their 90s celebrating their birthdays, “May misyon pa.” Some are able to escape death, “May misyon pa.” On the other hand, he would also say, Tapos na ang misyon.” (the mission on earth is already finished). After the funeral of a four year old boy, “Tapos na ang misyon.” Someone suddenly died in his sleep, “Tapos na ang misyon.” Someone also passed away before the 50th wedding anniversary, “Tapos na ang misyon.”

My dear friends, tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ. After being born of the virgin, after 33 years of mission on earth, after undergoing passion and death, after rising from the dead after 3 days, and appearing for 40 days before his ascension – Mission completed. (Tapos na ang misyon).

Jesus’ Ascencion reminds us of three things:

  1. Goodbyes are part of life. His ascending into heaven must have been a very emotional event for the eleven apostles. The deeper the love, the more difficult the goodbye. Yet, everything good comes to an end. Consider this part of the cycle of life.
  2. We have a permanent home. We are only passing by in this life and we have a permanent home in heaven. Hence, this should remind us of what is important and essential, and what is fleeting and passing. Also, why put so many emotions and effort into this life that we will just say goodbye to?
  3. A life well-lived. Jesus was not exempted from the challenges of life. He had his detractors. Many people envied him and we all know what envious people can do. People called him crazy and even accused him of getting his power from the devil. He was denied, deserted, and betrayed. Yet he trusted God, his Father. Regardless of what we are going through in life, we trust God for he knows what is best.

That is why we continue to reflect on our own life: Never take for granted relationships, live a meaningful life, and always be faithful to the mission God has given us. After all, life is short, swift, and uncertain.

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