The Ascension of the Lord
May 12, 2013 Cycle C
by Rev. Jose Maria Cortes, F.S.C.B.

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In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

There is a popular story that Newton was sitting under an apple tree, an apple fell on his head, and he suddenly thought of the Universal Law of Gravitation.

We can see the force of gravity as a symbol of what is natural. As human beings, we are under the Law of Gravitation. We cannot escape from it. The earth wants us. We try to escape but in the end we are conquered by its power of attraction. We climb mountains, we fly over the skies, we reach the moon, but at the end we cannot escape the power of the earth. It is waiting for us. When we shall close our eyes, it is ready to receive us in its bosom.

In our lives, we experience two different forces: one is terrene force, which pulls us down, and one is spiritual force, which pulls us up. There is a quote from Saint Thomas Aquinas that I like very much, which says: "From nature springs the fear of death; from grace springs audacity."

We are celebrating the Feast of the Ascension, the exaltation of our humanity. With Jesusí Ascension, our nature, what we are as human beings, entered Heaven. The center of gravity of humankind is no longer on earth. From now on, we belong to what is above, to what is eternal, to what is celestial and no longer to what is terrestrial and transient.

With Jesusí Ascension, a new law of gravitation was introduced on the earth. Now our center of gravity is in Godís heart.

Our place is no longer the earth, our place is Heaven now. Our center of gravity is in Heaven. We have to allow this new force of gravity to take us to heaven.

After Jesusí Ascension, there is a new force of gravity on earth. There is a force that exalts us, that pulls us up. The only thing we need to do is not to create opposition to this force.

When my parents celebrated their 25th anniversary, my father launched twenty-five fireworks. I remember that there were three or four seconds before a firework took flight. It has to be held firmly in a vertical position. It seemed like a struggle, the firework struggling against the force of gravity. Fireworks want to rise into the air but there is this stubborn force that tries to hinder them. Suddenly, as if by magic, the firework took off towards the sky. It was very important to hold the firework for these three or four seconds. Just a few days later, one of my brothers tried to launch a firework. He did not wait and dropped it. The firework started spinning around on the ground and we all had to scramble to safety!

Our Christian life is like those three or four seconds. We have already received the force that will take us to Heaven. However, there is still the opposite force that tries to prevent us from taking off. We need to stay in the vertical position, with our hearts directed toward what is holy. We need to desire what is holy. We need to have holy desire in our hearts.

This is what allows Jesus to raise us with him. We find a perfect model in Our Blessed Mother. Mary was assumed into Heaven in soul and body. She participated totally in her sonís Ascension because she never stopped desiring holiness. She always totally entrusted herself to Godís grace, from the Annunciation until the Assumption.

Let us pray that the example and intercession of Our Lady will help us live our lives in continuous elevation to God.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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