Today is the 7th Sunday of Easter, but the church in Tanzania is celebrating the Ascension of the Lord. So our homily for today is on the Ascension of the Lord. The Ascension of the Lord happens 40 days after the celebration of Easter. Since the resurrection Sunday, Jesus have been appearing to his disciples and today he ascends to his Father and will no longer be seen in his physical form like it used to be before his ascension.

Jesus has played his own role by preparing his followers and strengthening their faith in relation to the challenges that awaits them in their call to discipleship. In view of this fact, one can comfortably say that Jesus has done all he has to do by playing his own role. What is left at this point is for all of us who are his followers to play our own role to ensure that there is continuity in the work that Jesus himself started so many years ago. This is a major task for all those who go by the name Christian in our world today.

The 1st reading of today points out the fact that Jesus has accomplished his task through his life while on earth and also when he rose up from the dead. All this culminates in his promise of the Father sending another advocate; the spirit of truth. In view of this, we can comfortably say that Jesus has equip all his followers for the task of witnessing with our word and action; thus winning souls for the kingdom of God.

In view of this, Jesus gave all his followers a mandate to go and make disciples of all nations. He is simply saying that we should bear witness to the resurrected Christ and win souls for the kingdom. This we see in the life of the Apostles after the resurrection of Christ. They witnessed about the resurrected Christ with their words and also the type of life they were living; as seen in the Acts of the Apostles. In the same way, all of us as children of God are invited to take are witnessing to the ends of the earth and win souls for the kingdom of God. When the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus arrives, as many that have prepared for his coming, will experience its power and anointing; just like the Apostles and other believers did.

This positive disposition is strengthened by the prayer of St. Paul in the 2nd reading of today. It will go a long way to help all of us in our journey of faith. The promise of Jesus in the gospel that he is always with us, should always strengthen us as we take the good news to the ends of the earth as mandated by Jesus Christ. We are not embarking on this mission with our own strength, but rather we are guided by the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our source of strength and will never leave us like orphans at any given time as we carry out this great task of winning souls for the kingdom.

May God grant us the grace to be true witnesses all the days of our lives. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for Ascension of the Lord Year A, by Fr. Jude Ifezime, C.S.Sp