Lin Weeks Wilder

Lin Weeks Wilder

Books, Christianity, conversion, faith, Gospel, heaven/hell, music, politics, Prayer, public speaking, Virtues, Writing

Where Did Jesus Go?

where did Jesus go: come holy spirit

Salvador Dali 1958 Ascension of Jesus- courtesy phillip chiripop

Where did Jesus go: Come Holy Spirit!

I became a new creation that Thursday evening in early September at Saint Benedict’s Abbey. The journey had been arduous and long, but I’d finally found home. After receiving the sacraments necessary for full communion in the Catholic Church, I was not the same person.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. It was no metaphor: I had no doubt that I was truly reborn.

But the intrusion of the world, passage of time and spiritual laziness eroded my awareness–conviction and trust. Hence, over the fifty days of these glorious grace-filled days of the Easter season, my daily prayer, Come Holy Spirit! is ardent: Come Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of your faithful with the fire of your love and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth. It is through your Spirit that you instruct the hearts of your faithful. Grant, we beseech you that through your Spirit, we may be truly wise…

I believe with all my heart and soul that He renews the face of the earth each day, through you and me.

Where did Jesus go when he ascended into heaven? Maybe I should title this Part ll of last week’s reflection because I turn to N.T. Wright’s Surprised By Hope once again:

I am repeatedly frustrated by how hard it is to get this point through the thick wall of traditional thought and language that most Christians put up….

…to see the death of the body and the escape of the soul as salvation is not simply slightly off course, in need of a few subtle alterations and modifications. It is totally and utterly wrong. It is colluding with death. It is conniving at death’s destruction of God’s good, image-bearing human creatures while consoling ourselves with the (essentially non-Christian and non-Jewish) thought that the really important bit of ourselves is saved from this wicked, nasty body and this sad, dark world of space, time, and matter!

The point is this. When God saves people in this life, by working through his Spirit to bring them to faith and by leading them to follow Jesus in discipleship, prayer, holiness, hope, and love, such people are designed—it isn’t too strong a word—to be a sign and foretaste of what God wants to do for the entire cosmos. What’s more, such people are not just to be a sign and foretaste of that ultimate salvation; they are to be part of the means by which God makes this happen in both the present and the future. That is what Paul insists on when he says that the whole creation is waiting with eager longing not just for its own redemption, its liberation from corruption and decay, but for God’s children to be revealed: in other words, for the unveiling of those redeemed humans through whose stewardship creation will at last be brought back into that wise order for which it was made…

Surprised By Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and Mission

Get rid of our adolescent notions

of Jesus throttling through space, exhorts Monseignor John Essef’s in his podcase, Where is Jesus? A Reflection on the Ascension, affirming his Church of Engand colleague Wright’s insistence that too many misunderstand the Easter message. His remarks are stark and strident:

“The only capacity we have is sin.”

“Why is the world the way it is? Because we have not gone inside ourselves to find him within our hearts.”

“Love is the greatest power in the world, greater than any nuclear bomb”

“We focus on the horror of who I am rather than the beauty of who He is”

Where is Jesus? A Reflection on the Ascension – Building a Kingdom of Love with Msgr. John Esseff – Discerning Hearts Podcast
“But we’re not theolgians, bishops or priests.”

“We’re just lay people.”

Right, that’s all we are. On our own, we can do nothing, only sin. But we are NOT alone. The Holy Spirit has marked us with the seal of eternal life…our Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift.

Writing about Saint Athanasius, the only bishop who stood against the Arian heresy, Saint John Henry Newman wrote this: “Perhaps it was permitted, in order to impress upon the Church at that very time passing out of her state of persecution to her long temporal ascendancy, the great evangelical lesson, that, not the wise and powerful, but the obscure, the unlearned, and the weak constitute her real strength. It was mainly by the faithful people that Paganism was overthrown; it was by the faithful people, under the lead of Athanasius and the Egyptian bishops, and in some places supported by their Bishops or priests, that the worst of heresies was withstood and stamped out of the sacred territory.”

The Feast of “Get to work!”

Using very different language but emphasizing N.T. Wright’s message, Bishop Robert Barron calls the Ascension, the feast of “Get to Work!”

Let’s understand what he taught the apostles. The Kingdom of Heaven is here….we redeemed sinners must apply our gifts, talents and treasures to work for the glory of God.

Just 18 minutes, this is good stuff.

Lord, why don’t you do something?

I heard this song on the radio a few weeks ago. It’s lyrics slammed into my psyche.

Those months, maybe even years, after my conversion to Catholicism, people were drawn to me…the zeal that poured out of me of course, wasn’t me, but the Spirit. One day, a waitress at a diner we’d occasionally frequent, stared at me.

After a few seconds, I met her gaze and smiled. Shaking her head in embarrassment, she exclaimed,

“I want what you have!”

Just so, these lyrics,

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you.

I did, I created you.

Post Tags :
ascension, bishop barron, meaning of the resurrection, monsignor john essef

2 thoughts on “Where Did Jesus Go?”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lin Wilder

Lin Wilder has a doctorate in Public Health from the UT Houston with a background in cardiopulmonary physiology, medical ethics, and hospital administration. 

Latest Sunday Reflections

Scroll to Top