The Ascension of the Lord.
In the famous crucifix of San Damiano, the Lord ascends with a smile on his face. It is over, his mission is accomplished, and he has conquered death, and is now with us all days to the end of time. His earthly mission is accomplished, but not his mission of love for his people. He is with us now.
Jesus often talks of joy, often the joy of God in forgiving a sinner. The big joy of God seems to be mercy, and even in the memory of his own death Jesus finds joy. In the chapel of the home of St Francis Xavier in Navarre, the crucifix is of the ‘smiling Jesus’. He smiles not in comfort and ease, but in love and sacrifice.
While we think today of the loss of Jesus, we are invited to rejoice as he leaves one way of being with us – on earth, to another way of being with us – from heaven. He both awaits us there and helps us get there, the mystery of the Divine son who is one of us.
The mystery goes farther that we are invited and called into sharing this life of his on earth, for in each of us is the life of Jesus,. Who makes his home in us.
This is background of the prayer of St Teresa of Avila:
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world…
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.