NOW HE LED THEM OUT towards Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And it came to pass as he blessed them, that he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. (Luke 24:50-53) Texts of St. Josemaría:
The feast of our Lord's ascension also reminds us of another fact. The same Christ, who encourages us to carry out our task in the world, awaits us in heaven as well. In other words, our life on earth, which we love, is not definitive. "We do not have a permanent dwelling place here, but we seek that which is to come," (Heb 13:14) a changeless home, where we may live forever.
Still, we must be careful not to interpret the Word of God within limits that are too narrow. Our Lord does not expect us to be unhappy in our life on earth and await a reward only in the next life. God wants us to be happy on earth too, but with a desire for the other, total happiness that only he can give.
In this life, the contemplation of supernatural reality, the action of grace in our souls, our love for our neighbour as a result of our love for God — all these are already a foretaste of heaven, a beginning that is destined to grow from day to day. We Christians cannot resign ourselves to leading a double life. Our life must be a strong and simple unity into which all our actions converge.
Christ awaits us. We are "citizens of heaven," (Phil. 3:20) and at the same time fully fledged citizens of this earth, in the midst of difficulties, injustices and lack of understanding, but also in the midst of the joy and serenity that come from knowing that we are children of God. Let us persevere in the service of our God, and we will see the growth in numbers and in sanctity of this christian army of peace, of this co-redeeming people. Let us be contemplative souls, carrying on an unceasing dialogue with our Lord at all hours — from the first thought of the day to the last, turning our heart constantly toward our Lord Jesus Christ, going to him through our Mother, Holy Mary, and through him to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
If, in spite of everything, Jesus' ascension into heaven leaves a certain taste of sadness in our souls, let us go to his Mother, as the Apostles did. "They returned to Jerusalem... and they prayed with one mind... together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus." (Acts 1:12-14) Christ is Passing By, 126
Now the Master is teaching His disciples: He has enlightened their minds that they may know the Scriptures, and He takes them as witnesses of His life and His miracles, of His passion and death, and of the glory of His resurrection (Luke 24:45, 48).
Then, He leads them out along the road to Bethany, He lifts up His hands and blesses them. —And, as He does so, He slowly departs from them and ascends to heaven (Luke 24:51) until a cloud receives Him out of their sight (Acts 1:9).
Jesus has gone to the Father. —Two Angels in white garments approach us and say: Men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? (Acts 1:11)
Peter and the others go back to Jerusalem —cum gaudio magno— with great joy (Luke 24:52). —It is fitting that the Sacred Humanity of Christ should receive the homage, the praise and adoration of all the hierarchies of the Angels and of all the legions of the blessed in Heaven.
But, you and I feel like orphans: we are sad, and we go to Mary for consolation. Holy Rosary, The Ascension