There are two periods of great joy in the Church’s calendar year. The first is the Birth of Jesus. New life is always a great joy, especially when it involves the Birth of the Son of God. The second period of great joy begins after the death of Jesus when he is raised from the dead. For those who were there and for those of us who can only read about it, it is a time of great awe, excitement, astonishment and for the apostles probably even fear. Jesus’ Resurrection and then appearance to the apostles and the women was, to use a current phrase, mind blowing. This God/man/carpenter whom they came to love and believe in was brutally taken from them and crucified. And now their friend, last seen hanging bloodied on the cross, is alive in the flesh, talking, eating and drinking with them. The Son of God/Son of Man has been raised from the dead and they are joyous but shocked.
THE GLORY OF GOD IS REVEALED in Jesus’ Resurrection and then His Ascension. But then He prepares us and the apostles for life in a world without His Presence. He promises the gift of an advocate. During His time on Earth after His Resurrection, Jesus personally and through the Holy Spirit, infuses the apostles with wisdom, knowledge and the fullness of the complete gifts of the Holy Spirit. They too must feel reborn. God the Father is giving us a hint of the greatness to come in His Kingdom. Through His Son, God the Father has not only removed the sin of Adam and Eve from all mankind, but through Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension gives us the promise and knowledge of a glorious eternal life. Heaven’s gates are opened wide.
So take a moment this Sunday and be thankful to our God for the great gift of Jesus and the promise of Eternal and Everlasting life with Him.