Jesus is not gone forever
Today, Jesus “is taken” from his disciples. Does he, then, leave his disciples alone? On the cross, Jesus felt abandoned by God and his disciples, confused and afraid, experienced something of this abandonment, too. At Christ’s Ascension, however, the disciples now live by faith, pouring themselves out “with great joy” and in unceasing prayer.
When Jesus ascends to the Father, he only becomes more intimately present to those who believe in him. They are now the members of his Body, the Church. He promises to pour out his Holy Spirit: he will clothe them “with power from on high.” The Lord, however, does not remain present as an insecure ruler would, hovering over his servants to micromanage their every decision. To those who live by faith, he hands himself over, entrusting them with the task of drawing all to share in the Holy Trinity’s life of believing, hoping love.