St. Paul wrote to the early Christians in Galatia: â€œI have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.â€ (Galatians 2:20) This is not mere sentiment or piety, but is reality because of what has occurred through the â€œPaschal Mystery,â€ the saving Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We live differently now because we have accepted baptism into Christâ€™s death so we may rise and ascend with Him.
Living, abiding in Christ, is to be our daily reality. Christians are to live differently right now because we live in Jesus. We are to love differently now because we love in Jesus. We are to â€œbeâ€ different because our being is defined by Jesus.
On this Great Solemnity of the Ascension, and each day, we should ask ourselves this question: â€œHow are we doing?â€ This Solemnity presents us an opportunity to assess the relationship between our baptism, our profession of faith, and its manifestation in our daily lives. Are we living now in an eschatological way â€“ ready for the last day? If we are living in a committed way we are prepared for Jesusâ€™ return, for as Acts 1 recounts, the angel told those gathered on Mount Olivet: â€œThis Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Our work of becoming one in life with Jesus will not be complete until the One who ascended returns and hands the re-created cosmos back to the Father. That is the promise of God and our urgent expectation. Come Lord Jesus!