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"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20

 

Ascension Spirituality

Laura DeMaria

During Mass at the jail this week, Father talked about a concept called "ascension spirituality," which sounds very new age (and google results do indeed indicate there are new agers with their own thoughts on what it means).

We discussed this concept in the context of Ascension Sunday (which was May 8), when Jesus ascends to Heaven. He focused on one key moment: when the angels who appear beside Jesus as he ascends say to the awe-struck apostles, "Move along! He has charged you with your mission, now get to it," in so many words. The angels are encouraging the apostles to let go of what was, to embrace what will be, and truly live the lives Jesus meant for them to live. And Jesus, of course, has already reassured them that He is with them always, "until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

We are faced with our own ascension moments throughout life. As Father described it, sometimes we have to allow something - a relationship, a job, a sense of failure, a sense of injustice, a wounded ego - ascend, so that what God really has in mind for us can take its place.

Another part of this is that allowing an issue to ascend means you are able to recognize your life for what it really is and acknowledge it, feeling gratitude and finding meaning in it rather than dismissing it for not being what you want. Perhaps you mourn over the one who got away, or feel your mother treated you unfairly in childhood, or that you were unjustly denied a raise at some point. But what DO you have? And what does holding on to that grief accomplish? Let is ascend, instead, for the Lord to dissolve, to be replaced by love and gratitude.