In the opening lines of the Acts of the Apostles, the second volume of his Gospel, Luke describes the disciples’ 50-day period of learning the meaning of the Resurrection. For 40 of those days, the risen Jesus made himself known to them, revealing that he had passed through death and teaching them again what he had always taught: “The reign of God is among you” (Luke 17:21).
Luke is the only evangelist to describe Jesus’ ascension, and he ties the two volumes of his Gospel together by describing it at the end of the first and the beginning of the second (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9). In Luke’s presentation, just before ascending to the Father, Jesus sent the disciples into a retreat, a 10-day time of reconstituting themselves in preparation for the experience of Pentecost (Acts 1:11-26) …
As we hear in Acts, faith is an experience of knowing the presence of God and waiting/yearning for more. The narratives of the women at the tomb, of the disciples waiting in Jerusalem, and of those who returned to Galilee, all reveal Christ present in the community that strives to grow in faith. Ephesians tells us that faith in Jesus is not a belief about him, but a belief in and through the community that is his body.
As we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the Scriptures teach us that genuine faith is a way of life in community. The feast of the Ascension reminds us that our vocation is to continue being and seeking God with us, “until the end of the age.”
by Mary M. McGlone
— National Catholic Reporter