Reflection on the Gospel, John 17:11-19
The Ascending of Our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven is a glorious precursor to His indescribable Descending on earth on the Final Day. Swaddling clothes were the robes that adorned the King of heaven and earth when He became God incarnate and lay in a poor manger at His birth. In the moment of His Ascension the majestic clouds, which kiss the mighty sun and cradle the tranquil moon, had the privilege to be luminous garments for it’s Creator’s triumphant entrée into The Father’s court. While the Angels escorted their Lord and Master into His heavenly Kingdom, every essence of their being would have exclaimed an ecstasy of unimaginable joy and awe.
The earth’s sod that rejoiced when the Holy of Holies; Jesus strolled upon it. As He ascends Himself up to the heavens as the Risen Lord who defeated Death in its face, every grain of this soil also rejoices for being healed by the shedding of every drop of His immaculate blood on it during His passion and death.
Jesus ascends into heaven, not to abandon the world that He redeemed, but rather to present it to the Father for His full embrace that would last for all eternity. He assures us of His real presence here on earth even as He takes His rightful place with The Father. He manifests that great love by praying to His Father that He may keep us all one just as He and The Father are one, protecting us from the Evil One and ratifying that we do not belong to the world anymore, no more than He belongs to it.
‘The consecration’ which Christ makes to His loving and merciful Father exemplifies His constant protection and counsel for us. Jesus consecrates the world in Truth. During His mission on earth He proclaimed Himself as “The Truth…” (Jn 14:6). He also said “The Father and I are One” (Jn 10:30). Consecration to the Truth is consecration to the undeniable and unfathomable unity of The Father and The Son and also The Spirit who is the light of this Truth. The Prince of Darkness charged his mortal assault on The Light of all Nations, but failed in the conquest precisely because Truth pierces victoriously through every shield of lie. By this consecration in Truth; Jesus establishes The Kingdom’s coat of arms to be the Trinity itself. It therefore calls upon every baptized Christian to be a Testimony to this salvific Truth that radiates peace, love, joy and mercy.
Jesus ascends into heaven to let His Spirit descend upon His Church, so that Truth may be glorified and it bears testimony to life, death and resurrection of those who part take in the very life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.