The popular praise and worship Gospel Song, Lord I Lift Your Name on High by songwriter Rick Founds encompasses the totality of God’s plan for salvation history in a great song that one can teach their young children, especially as we explore the mystery of Jesus’s Ascension into Heaven. Our end goal is of course to recall the mystery and miracle of Jesus’s ascent to go and be with His Father, which is also our ultimate goal while here on earth. Jesus did indeed come to the earth to show us the way to His Father God and “from the grave to the sky, Lord I lift your name on High” is a message that we Christians should always boldly proclaim on our life’s journey (Lord I Lift Your Name On High | Divine Hymns Contemporary Songs).
Florentine artist Pacino di Bonaguida’s image is a great reflection piece that portrays our own sense of mission as followers of Jesus with His apostles having their eyes fixed to heaven. Our own human condition reveals that same imagery as our ultimate eschatological and ontological goal as being made in the image and likeness of God is to always yearn for the day that we ultimately be in complete communion with God in heaven one day.
Our choice through our very will is to either praise His mighty works as exemplified in Psalm 47 in which “God mounts the throne amid shouts of joy” or to turn our eyes elsewhere toward those things in life that are not of God.
The optional lectionary reading from Ephesians chapter four proclaims our mission in which some our called through the grace of Baptism and our calling in life to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip holy ones to build up the body of Christ (Eph 4:11-12). The Good News from Mark’s Gospel, is a great Gospel passage that firmly states our sense of mission, purpose and urgency. In the Great Commissioning of the Apostles, Jesus the Christ states the following, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16: 15-16).
By our very free will we have the option of having our body and soul glorified with our merciful God and Father in Heaven, or we can choose the path of condemnation and a potential life without God. It is our choice and responsibility to use His grace and His love which are gifts given to use and His love is unlimited no matter where we are at in life. It was by His ultimate sacrifice in which His blood was poured out for us as an expiation for the sin of all mankind by acknowledging we are finite creatures dependent on a higher power and higher calling. Our call of course is to always have our eyes fixed upon Heaven as our final destination on our journey as spiritual human beings.
Let us remember that no matter how difficult our life may be while here on earth, we must remember that Jesus, God’s Son made flesh for the world, gave His life over to Sin and defeated such destruction. He showed us the way as a reminder that we will never be abandoned and should not lose hope. His kingdom is both on earth and in heaven and one day we should anticipate His coming and most benevolent judgement. We are an Easter people and a path to mercy and salvation is open to us through the mission of the Church which is each one of us through our calling as a Christian people. We must be good stewards of His earthly kingdom, ushering in a call to conversion, repentance and action-filled relationships with our Lord. We don’t want to be caught off guard and not recognize the Son of Man when he comes again. It is through prayer, reading of scripture and the seven spiritual and corporal works of mercy that will more closely unite us with our beloved Lord as most in life truly yearn for His loving embrace.
As Saint John of The Cross proclaimed so eloquently in his writings”
As each soul nears heaven differences will dissolve to such a sublime extent that when the heart looks upon any object in this world it will cry ‘Beloved’ and passionately run into an embrace with me (Editor Starr, Mirabai (2008). Devotions, Prayers & Living Wisdom Saint John of the Cross. Boulder, CO: Sounds True Inc.).
The popular Gospel praise and worship song