My wife and I were discussing the conclusion of a Netflix series that she’s watched. She said it was ‘sulit” or satisfying to say the least. Getting the desired end-state is something we all aspire for, even in the movies and films we’re watching and following. In fact, in literature and in films there are some examples mentioned including Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations, which originally had a “bleaker” conclusion, with Pip meeting Estella, but after she remarried. It was said that Dickens stated that he had been persuaded by Edward Bulwer-Lytton to change it prior to publication. In the film Ella Enchanted, sources say the movie was originally supposed to end differently but the final scene was replaced with a musical ending with the entire cast present, and they exit like they do on stage. Yes, we all want happy endings.
In today’s Mass, the Holy Mother Church commemorates the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Mk. 16: 15-20).
“It is like a sequel, it is the same story of Jesus, bringing us the Father’s love. It is the story of Jesus bringing us to the Father. It is the story of Jesus, but now it is not Jesus personally anymore, it’s going to be the disciples. That’s why the story today start with the mission given to the disciples,” Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB, remarked in his homily today.
Starting from God the Father talking through the words of the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament, we read and listen to the teachings of Christ in the New Testament. Through the history of the Church and the story still unfolding in the present, we see that we are exhorted to continue what the Apostles did to build what the Church is today. We believed and embraced Jesus’ words without hesitation. Our faith brings us unity with His own death, dying to sin, so that we may also share in His Resurrection someday.
Today, in this Solemnity of the Ascension, we further see the invitation to rise with the Savior to the Father. We must understand that where the Lord has gone, we are invited to follow provided we only have faith, embrace the Christian life, and live wholeheartedly what the Scriptures and Sacred Tradition tell us.
“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”
This command rings loud and clear, and while it was Jesus who said it, the Apostles continuing it up to the present, and now, we are exhorted to follow His command.
Let us reflect on our own calling to go forth to the world, and how we can inspire others to do the same. We don’t need to become big time preachers, we only have to make our friends, family and all we encounter feel by our own love and example, how it is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. By doing this, we enable the story of the Lord to continue, in an ending that we desire and long for someday. We fervently pray that our mission will enable us to ascend with Him into Eternity.
“Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world.” (Mt.28: 19a, 20b)