Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
St. Mark tells us that Jesus “was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.” The Ascension of Jesus is his exaltation. St. Paul tells us that the Father raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand “far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Nasa ilalim ng kapangyarihan ni Kristo ang lahat ng paghahari, kapamahalaan, kapangyarihan, at pamunuan. Higit ang kanyang pangalan kaysa lahat ng pangalan, hindi lamang sa panahong ito kundi pati sa darating.) In fact, the Father “put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the Church…the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.” (Pinailalim ng Diyos sa kapangyarihan ni Kristo ang lahat ng bagay, at siya ang ginawang ulo ng Simbahan…ang kapuspusan niya na pumupuspos sa lahat lahat.)
Why this exaltation? Why this immense power? It is because the Father was pleased by the humility and obedience of his Son Jesus who did not hesitate to empty himself in order to take our humble likeness. The Father was pleased with Jesus who humbled himself further by obediently accepting death on the Cross. Jesus was exalted far above all powers because he went to the very depths of our human misery; that depth of human misery is death where man has lost everything. The height of his exaltation is commensurate to the depth of his plunge. The abundance of his wealth is commensurate to the abjection of his poverty. The greatness of his power is commensurate to the weakness that he embraced. He who descended to earth ascends to heaven: he is the Son of Man who is in heaven.
Looking at what the Father did to his Son, we realize “what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us to believe.” St. Paul affirms that “this power working in us is the same as the great might which he worked in Christ.” Thus, his glory is ours…only if we descend with him into the depths of humiliation. His abundance is ours…only if we renounce everything to imitate his poverty. His power is ours…only if we rank ourselves among the meek and the gentle of the earth. Indeed, we will inherit the heavenly inheritance of Jesus only if we suffer together with him. There is no other way. The way of glory is the way of humility. Jesus said, “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Therefore, let us not hesitate to lose everything for the sake of Jesus. Just remember the abundant inheritance that awaits us. If we want to gain everything, we must detach ourselves from everything that the world holds dear. We must renounce everything, including our very selves, in order to follow the Lord along the way of humility, of poverty, and of weakness. When we follow him to the depths, he will bring us with him to the heights. The Lord did not promise us happiness in this life but only in the next.
Jesus, I trust in you. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!