One of the reasons this Coronavirus pandemic is so troubling and that our government leaders and so called “experts” seem clueless and lost, is that there is no roadmap through this crisis. These are “unprecedented times.” Nothing quite like this has happened before. That is why the models have been so poor in predicting the course of the disease. Our history does not give us good assumptions from which to work. And since the last major pandemic was over 100 years ago, there is no one alive today – there is not a living memory of someone who survived who can give us hope.
Today, we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. This event marks the completion of the mission of Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, took on our humanity, suffered the cross, and rose from the dead to reconcile us to the Father. In his Ascension, our humanity has entered into heaven. A path to God has been opened for us. We have been raised to heaven. That is why we pray in the opening prayer: “for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope.” We have hope on our journey because there is a path forward for us. There is a historical precedent for us. There is a sure model to follow. And there is a victor with a living memory to accompany us on the journey. We are not alone. Before his Ascension, Jesus promised the disciples that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. They would be filled with the “power” of his divine life, making them witnesses to the Resurrection “to the ends of the earth.” Jesus said, “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” We have been called to follow Christ – to follow in hope. May the eyes of our hearts be enlightened, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to his call.