“[Why] do you stand looking toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11
Jesus did not ascend into heaven to break free from the burdens of the flesh or the sins of the world. Heaven is not Jesus’ reward, nor is it his ultimate dwelling. His message time and again was that He would abide with us, that He would not leave us: “remember; I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20b).
The gift of the Holy Spirit is the promise and power of Christ’s abiding presence in the world. Do not look to heaven, but look around. Look for the world being transformed more and more into the Kingdom of God—into heaven, through the Holy Spirit’s power. Watch for the image of Christ to appear in the face of brother, a sister, a stranger, an enemy. Show the presence of Christ through the Spirit’s power working in you through acts of mercy, justice, peace, and selfless love. Seek the presence of Christ through the Spirit’s gifts of the Church and the Sacraments (Baptism and Eucharist). Embody Christ’s presence through the Spirit’s power of forgiveness and reconciliation. Care for this world for it is the dwelling place of Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Christ has not gone away. We have been raised with Him and he has brought us with Him to heaven. May the Holy Spirit’s power help us to see and serve Him now on earth as it is in heaven.