Last week I met a young man who is in college and who has another dream aside from finishing his studies.  He wants to become a professional basketball player.  He has always admired those who were given the chance to prove themselves on the hard court.  His one desire is to be like his idols.
In today’s world, everybody is trekking the path that leads one to go up, to move higher, to follow an “upward mobility.” The usual dream of becoming rich, enjoying fame, obtaining honors and grabbing power are expressions of our desire to go up.  Even the pure desire to be close to God in a holy way of life is a valid and worthy ambition.
Our country and our Church need people today who look up and strain to touch what vision they see ahead. We need progress. We need to move up!
The gospel of today’s Solemn Feast of the Ascension supports this natural inclination to look up, to climb higher, to reach the top.  After Jesus’ devoted and committed earthly life, the only other way is to ascend to heaven, to reclaim the throne he has with the Father from all eternity. “As he blessed them, he parted from them and was taken up to heaven” (Luke 24).
The earth is not all there is, Jesus reminds us.  What we encounter down here, however satisfying and beautiful they are, surely are among the ephemeral and passing things of human experiences. The things that will not pass away belong to the realm where the Father is supreme.
But Jesus’ ascension is not a light achievement. He who ascended to the throne on high staked a lot of investment in his life on earth. Ascending in triumph and glory, Jesus had to trudge the path of hard work and sacrifice. He went through the pain of the cross.  He entered the darkness of the tomb. It was not an easy earthly life that prepared Jesus for the Resurrection and the Ascension.
And this we often forget.  We want to go up but we do not want to crawl our way to get there. How can you get rich if you don’t save what little you can?  How can you reach fame if you have no perseverance to show the world what you’ve got? How can you enjoy power if you do not exercise your potential for leadership? How can you reach your dreams if you do not focus on your given work or special task, like your studies?  How can you even be holy if you are lazy in responding to the demands of spiritual growth?
The Ascension is not an isolated event of glory. It was but a continuation and a natural consequence of Jesus’ profuse self-giving and self-offering. Yes it is Jesus’ success story because he worked hard to finally get it.
You too, have a success story waiting to happen.  Let the Ascension inspire you to go up.  Let it inspire you to start now, down here… Amen.


its election time in the Philippines!  let us pray for clean and honest elections. let us pray for a wiser electorate.  let us pray for an end to political dynasties in our country.  Lord, have mercy on this beautiful country that loves to profess its faith in You but often lacks the courage and the will to change for the better.