Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 359 – Ready to Solo – Ascension

May 28th, 2017, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

PilotIt seems like today would have been such a sad day in the life of the Apostles. After 3 years of being with Jesus every day and 40 days with him after the resurrection, today’s Solemnity of the Ascension marks the moment when Jesus left this earth. It does seem like it would be sad. Yet, Jesus leaves his apostles, and us, with the encouraging words, “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

After his ascension, Jesus was actually able to be even closer to his apostles. Like them, we no doubt wish we could experience his physical presence, but we are told today that Jesus is present with us in an even more real way, even better than if he were physically present.

As Jesus left this earth, he gave us our mission, to go spread the gospel, to teach, to make him present through the sacraments. Jesus had prepared the apostles and showed them how to do it. Now it was time for the them go out on their own. Just like graduating from school, there comes a time when the teacher leaves and the student has to go out and put into practice what he’s learned. This can be a moment filled with some sadness as a child leaves home, but we know that this is how it’s supposed to be.

Today’s celebration also reminds me of the days when I was training to obtain my pilot’s license. There comes a great moment in the life of any student learning to fly when his instructor gets out of the plane and says that you are ready to “solo.” An instructor won’t do this until he is sure that the student is ready. In much the same way, Jesus only leaves because he knows we’re ready. It may be scary, but it’s alos exciting and it’s what we’re made for. It’s our turn to go out and do the works of the Lord. But let us remember his final words. We are not alone. “I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

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