Beyond Space and Time
Ascension (A)

Antonio P. Pueyo
Reproduced with Permission

This Sunday is Ascension Day. It marks the day the Lord Jesus went up to the Father. He was taken away from the sight of His disciples yet He left them the assurance of His abiding presence, “And know that I am with you always; yes to the end of time” (Mt.28:20). He also left them with the Great Commission, “You will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth” ( Acts 1:8). To the end of time and to the ends of the earth are ways of saying that Jesus overcomes space and time. He is present and actively working among His disciples even if He is no longer visible to them. He is beyond boundaries.

Action starter: Be a witness. Hold your light up.

We are prone to defining and creating boundaries in space and time. We define the extent of our territories. We divide ourselves into races, nations, tribes, clans and families. We stake our claims and mark our properties. We limit belongingness. There are outsiders and there are insiders. We are bounded by time. We fulfill our schedules. We act according to timetables. We try to extend our spaces and deadlines.

One deadline we try to overcome is precisely that – the line of death. We wish we could extend our lives by discovering the secrets of perpetual youth.

The Ascension event reminds us that our destiny is beyond space and time. Like the Lord Jesus we will be with the Father. This reality of being with the Father is also called eternal life, “And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn. 17:3). Eternal life is being intimate with God. Eternal life is remaining with Jesus. Eternal life begins here.

This vision of our destiny is our source of strength while we live in this “valley of tears”. The human condition as bounded by space and time is indeed full of suffering. We experience pain, disappointments, hunger, war, broken relationships, catastrophes. Moments of joy, peace, and contentment seem to be little rays of light in the darkness. We wish otherwise, that sufferings are spaces of darkness in a world of light. In the present realities of our country, we have to deal with the specter of hunger and insecurity.

We do not deny reality. We do not escape life. The believer in the resurrected Jesus, buoyed by the vision of eternal life can meet squarely the realities of life the world. In fact, it is the disciples of Jesus who brings light into the darkness. We do whatever good we can, and the Lord in His own good time will finally completely vanquish darkness. The Lord is always true to His promise. Like the disciples we hold on to His words, “In a short time you will no longer see me, and then in a short time later you will see me again” (Jn.16:16). Then there will only be Light.