The Ascension of Our Lord
The first reading at Mass, from the Acts of the Apostles, seems particularly appropriate this year, when some awaited the end of the world on May 21 (now moved to October) and others worry that the end will come in 2012, according to the old Mayan calendar. Jesus makes it clear to us here: we don't know, and we won't know, until it actually happens. But the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven is something we can hold on to with hope. The "two men dressed in white garments" told the apostles that Jesus would return, and this promise is meant for us as well. Pope Benedict XVI tells us that it would be wrong to think that the Ascension means "the temporary absence of Christ from the world." Instead, he says, "we go to heaven to the extent that we go to Jesus Christ and enter into him." He has not left us orphans; he is present with us every moment. Alleluia!