As Disciples we depend on the Word, the Paschal Mystery and each other to be the presence of Christ in the world. St. Peter of Damascus wrote that we ascend with Christ to heaven through these real presences of Jesus. We move from “fear to religious devotion, from which springs spiritual knowledge; from this knowledge comes judgment, that is, discrimination (discernment); from discrimination comes the strength that leads to understanding; from this comes wisdom.”
Thanks to the ministry of the Apostles, all believers ascend with Christ into heavenly wisdom. When Christ ascended they had to depend on their faith, believe in their mission, and carry the Gospel to all. (The Holy Spirit at Pentecost makes all this possible!) We are charged with this same mission. We are lost if we only live by what we see and touch, rather than by what we know. Jesus told us, “I am with you always…” Next week we celebrate Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit, our empowerment here on earth to fulfill our missions!
Our own personal ascension depends upon our knowledge of the truth of Christ, (keep studying scripture!) our life in the Spirit (keep the commandments!), the Word and Eucharist (keep coming to Church!), and our service to one another as the body of Christ (keep loving and forgiving!). This is the way we too, ascend and attend the eternal banquet.