The Feast of the Ascension
During the last few weeks, in preparation for the season of Easter and the Ascension, I have been reading as many books as I could concerning what the Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ means to all of us. At the same time I started to read another book by George Friedman entitled "The Next 100 Years" concerning the future of one hundred years from now in which the author describes all the sociological and economic changes he can think of concerning our life on this planet.
When you analyze it, very few of us one hundred years from now, will have life on this planet, which brings us into the season of the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ into Heaven.
What have sacred writers said concerning the Resurrection and the Ascension? If you read the New Testament, you will find a tremendous number of quotations concerning the Resurrection such as "I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in Me even though he will be dead will have Life Everlasting." When you read the New Testament, you find the expression "eternal life" appears over six hundred times among the writers of the New Testament. What do they talk about concerning life after this earth? They talk about a wonderful period of our life in which we will enjoy the vision of God where there will be neither mourning nor grieving and where the former things of this life will have passed away. There will be no cancer, no Alzheimer's, none of the diseases that cause so much pain on earth.
It is only in Heaven, because of the Resurrection, that we will have answers to questions that complicate so many of our lives
When you read the authors of the New Testament, they clearly give the impression that a lot of the unanswered questions we have on earth will be answered in Heaven. Concerning the justice and mercy of God, these themes that preoccupy so many of our thoughts will be clearly seen, clearly answered. How often have we wondered about the people on this earth who live in abject poverty from the day they are born to the day they die and you wonder how could a merciful God allow this to happen?
It is only in Heaven, because of the Resurrection, that we will have answers to questions that complicate so many of our lives. Yes, we can always decry the fact that life is unfair, but we have to qualify it. We are talking about life on this earth. In the teachings of New Testament, especially in the teachings of Paul, we know there are going to be many mansions in our Father's house. We know that Christ is waiting to welcome each one of us into the home He has prepared for us in His kingdom. So for many, many years to come we will have writers writing books telling us of what the next one hundred years will be like on earth. But it is through the New Testament and the teachings of St. Paul and the teachings of the Church that we can live with the hope that there is a better world waiting for all of us in the kingdom God has prepared for us.
We can have all sorts of discussions concerning the Resurrection and the empty tomb. We can have all sorts of discussions concerning the Ascension and how Christ ascended into Heaven. These discussions will go on and on as long as we live on this earth. We might find more answers than we have now. One thing, however, is really certain. The answers that await us because of the Resurrection and the Ascension are the answers that will bring us eternal peace and eternal happiness.