Easter – Ascension Sunday

Czarina Gatbonton had every reason to rejoice. She was crowned Bb. Pilipinas – World (Ms. Philippines – World). A young, lovely lass from a fishing island of Malolos, Bulacan, the brown-complexioned girl was a mirror of rustic but elegant beauty. She spoke Tagalog during the question-and-answer round, the first ever contestant to use the native language.

But what the judges thought was “cool”, many Filipinos perceived differently. You-tube remarks ridiculed her color and said she looked like a house maid. Others taunted her for speaking in the native tongue and called her unsophisticated.

But that’s how Filipinos are – we love to put down people who ascend to higher levels in life. We are experts in discrediting, destroying and discouraging one another.

The Gospel shows that this is not God’s attitude. As we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, we see a God who never puts us down. We see a God who upholds us; who lifts us up; who glorifies those who were trampled on by others.

The Lord Jesus was rudely rejected, maltreated, victimized and killed unjustly. When people saw that Jesus was pointing them to another direction, more right and yet uncomfortable, he became a threat to them. They saw his light but decided they would rather see it extinguished.

But the Father had another plan. The one they cast out will claim victory and glory. The one they tried to bury in the ground breaks through the boundaries of earth and enters heaven in triumph. Not anymore the victim, he is forever the victor!

Do you find yourself tempted by envy, anger or malice to put others down? Check your heart and know that God wants you to inspire and not to destroy. God desires you to be a channel of appreciation and strength for others.

Or maybe you have experienced how it is to be cast out, ignored, maligned or treated like a rag. Do not allow others to destroy your goodness and the hope that God instilled in your heart. You will rise again. You will rise up from the ashes of your painful experiences. The Ascension of the Lord is a powerful sign for you. God destines you to rise up with Jesus!

So do not wallow in self-pity. Cease crying. Start believing in the God who will build you up. If you continue to have faith, and to do what is right and holy, God will not abandon you. Like Jesus, know that others cannot put a good man down.

Jesus, thank you for showing me the future that awaits me as I continue to trust in You, in myself and in the plan of God for my life. I believe that Ascension will happen in my life as it did in Yours.