Continuing with the exploration and reflection through a series of articles written in a conversational language about Catholicism, about God, about Jesus, about the Church and many other faith related topics. Here we present:
Question 21 – Where is Jesus now?
The last books of the Bible* describe the Ascension* of Jesus*, ‘Jesus was lifted up before their eyes; a cloud hid him from view’ (Acts 1:9). Christians believe that the resurrected Jesus had been present among the people in a special way for a while. With the Ascension of Jesus this mode of presence comes to an end.
The Ascension does not mean that Jesus took the elevator and went through the atmosphere, towards heaven. It symbolically makes clear that the risen Jesus is once again fully united with God* the Father*, from whom he originally came.
Does this mean that God – and more specifically Jesus – has abandoned or forsaken humanity? On the contrary. Shortly after Ascension, Pentecost* takes place. Then, in turn, the Holy Spirit* comes from heaven* to the world. He follows Jesus, as it were. With the difference that Jesus, the human, could not be everywhere at once, while God’s Spirit – also called Helper – can be so. Thus the believers are now assured of God’s constant help and assistance.
Catholic* Christians also believe that Jesus is present in a special way in the Sacraments* and in the living community of faith that they call Church*.
– Experiencing the presence of Jesus, what does this mean for you?
– Do you at times experience something that can be described as the presence of the Spirit of God?
Feel free to leave your thoughts, reflections or comments below.
Watch this space! Coming up: Question 22 – What is the meaning of Jesus for people today?
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If you wish to learn more about this resource follow this link “52 Questions and Answers about faith”
About the author:
Nikolaas Sintobin, SJ, joined the Society of Jesus in 1989, following a short career as a lawyer. He was trained as a Jesuit in Brussels, Paris, and Santiago de Chile. Today he is a spiritual director who is keenly interested in online ministry and discovering new ways to help people find God.
This text is republished with the permission of Messenger Publications, Ireland. To buy a hard copy of the book click here.