The universal Church today celebrates the Feast of Ascension and invites us to meditate on this gospel. I would like to draw your attention to two important elements: mission received the apostles of the Lord and their certitude of divine accompaniment. "Go to the whole world and announce the Good News", this is the mission received and transmitted to us by the Apostles. In Baptism this mission is reconfirmed when the priest asks us to keep the light of the Risen always on. Through this mission and through our positive engagement, we participate in the universal mission in a personal and particular way, yet a universal and common mission, because we work together with the other baptized.
In this mission, we are well accompanied and guided by the Holy Spirit. The Apostles are also accompanied by the signs. Since our God is a free God, he will not only leave us free, even our hearers who hear our words will be as free as we are. He who believes will be saved. The salvation is now open to everyone and all invited to free themselves from sin towards holiness. There are no longer pagans and Jews, Greek or Roman, for we are all children of the same God. Our divine origin is re-established not only on the earth, but also in heaven. Thus we are no more a people of this earth, our heavenly home is the real house, prepared by Jesus himself.
The Feast of Ascension assures us of the resurrection and reaffirms life after death, a life with God. With Jesus the whole of humanity is raised to heaven. We have a God who has participated in our humanity, who understands not only our joy, but also our pain and suffering. This humanity of Jesus is united in the divinity of His Father, elevates us to His divinity and makes us worthily participants in this divinity as the heirs. This status of life once lost in sin, is re-established by Jesus and gives the hope to all those who believe in this divine project of God, stated in Jesus, which will find its accomplishment when Jesus comes back for the final judgement.
Certainly, we must wait for the Holy Spirit to come down on us, so that we understand all the divine realities that God put in to our spiritual being by our baptism. Without the support of the Holy Spirit, we can understand nothing and cannot do anything. With the Holy Spirit we can do everything, because God will accompany us with the signs that will bear witness to our belonging and through which He will reveal to the whole world the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord. The same Holy Spirit who accompanied Jesus, will certainly accompany us till the end of the world.
In ten days we are going to celebrate a big feast: Pentecost. This event has totally transformed the behaviour of the Apostle of the Lord and they felt in them the true divine presence. Full of courage, they began to address the people and announce the conversion and baptism of the water and the Spirit. They have proclaimed the good news, a news of hope and also of joy, which accompanies us all our lives. We know that on this day, particularly in Europe many children will celebrate the sacrament of confirmation with others who are preparing to participate. Do not forget them in our daily prayer. Let us prepare ourselves to receive this Spirit of the Lord and to renew our baptismal commitment. Let us remember this word of hope, "Galileans, why are you standing there looking up to heaven? This Jesus who was taken up from you, from heaven will come in the same way that you saw him go to heaven. Amen.