Sometimes when I meditate on the Ascension, it crosses my mind that this glorious mystery could have been less than glorious at the time To my mind of weak faith, if I imagine walking and talking everyday with Jesus, if I imagine Him being returned to my presence after I thought I had lost Him, and then Him going away again . . I think confusion, sadness. Even though there was the promise of the Holy Spirit, I doubt the apostles fully grasped what that meant. How could they see that as comparable to having Jesus before their very eyes?
But is that how the apostles viewed it? No. The last chapter of Luke tells us that after they witnessed the Ascension, “And they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And were continually in the temple blessing God.”
That is pure faith. They had no idea what was going to happen next. They didn’t know what it would be like when the spirit Jesus promised came. They didn’t know what they would be like. But the trusted Him completely They trusted that what He said would happen would actually happen, and they trusted that it was for the best.
That’s a lot of trust. A lot of faith. And it’s beautiful.
Certainly they must have felt some pain–the pain of loss, the pain of separation. But their faith was so strong, so real that they went forth with joy. Great joy.
Because they were so close to Jesus that they really got it! What does that tell us? The key to joy? Jesus.
Cultivating that close relationship with Jesus.
Over and over again in my suffering I come back to my very own weak faith. When I’m willing to just trust Him, to be brave and accept whatever He has for me, then peace comes, when I can willingly accept that He can–and will–bring good from anything that happens.
Okay so that doesn’t happen much. But its there once in a while. Its possible if we can get to that trust. It always comes back to trust–and faith.
And the disciples got that and lived it.