Our Lord ascended into heaven forty days after rising from the dead! The Ascension, like Easter itself, is a Feast of Life. It is the Feast of Jesus taking our humanity to the heights of heaven.
On the night before he died, Jesus asked the Father, “Give me the glory I had with you before the world began.” Jesus was always in the glory of heaven, from all eternity. What is different, then, after he ascends into heaven? How is his glory today different from the glory he had before the world began?
The answer is that now he shares that glory in a human body and soul – the same kind of human nature that you and I have, and that every unborn child has. By ascending to the right hand of the Father, our Lord reveals that the destiny of the human person is to be in the heights of heaven with God.
How, then, can we believe and proclaim this truth, but turn our backs when that same human nature is thrown in the garbage by abortion?
Obviously, the truth and joy of the Ascension impel us to protect and exalt every human life. “The joy of the resurrection and ascension renew the whole world,” the liturgy of these days tells us. They do renew the world, because they renew humanity, reveal its dignity, and provide us the impetus and grace we need to defend every human life, no matter how small or burdensome.
In these days, let us pray for a renewal of respect for life in the light of the Ascension:
Lord Jesus, you are exalted today at the right hand of the Father. You have taken our human nature to the heights of heaven.
Lord, this is the same human nature shared by our unborn brothers and sisters, and we pray for them today. We see their destiny in your Ascension. We see your plan for them and for us – that we may live forever, exalted in glory. May the wonder and truth of the Ascension lead us to protect every life and defend its dignity. Let us treat each person as one destined to sit upon your throne. Fill the heart of each believer, each parent, each legislator, each judge, each priest and pastor, each human being, with the wisdom to know clearly and defend vigorously the sanctity of each human being. Bring us all to the glory of heaven, where you live and reign forever and ever. Amen.