There seems to be an air of finality in Luke’s description of the Ascension. As they go up the mountain the disciples are still hoping for some kind of earthly kingdom. Jesus does nothing to cherish such notions. Instead, after briefly telling them to get out there and be witnesses to his mission, he is taken up by a cloud and removed from their sight. Suddenly he is gone, it’s all over. Even though Jesus promised them the Holy Spirit it still seemed like curtains. They are not going to see him again. In times past there was a custom of extinguishing the Paschal Candle after the gospel to signify: ‘he is gone’. Continue reading
There is a story that when Jesus returned to heaven after his death and resurrection, the Archangel Gabriel was surprised to see him back so soon. Thirty-three years is not a long time, especially when you think about the importance and proportions of the task he had been given to do.
‘Back so soon?’ Gabriel said to Jesus.
‘Well, I would have stayed longer but they crucified me,’ Jesus replied.
‘Oh, so they crucified you,’ said Gabriel. ‘That means you failed.’
‘Not necessarily,’ said Jesus. ‘You see I called together a little group of disciples. They will carry on my work.’
‘And what if they should fail?’ asked Gabriel.
‘I’ve no other plans,’ Jesus answered. ‘There is no plan B.’ Continue reading