There’s a verse in a frame in my entryway that echoes Jesus’ promise in the Ascension Gospel: “Behold, I am with you always until the end of the age.” It comforts and reminds me that although Jesus is in heaven, Jesus’ presence and spirit is with me until this life is over.
If a loved one of yours has passed on from this life, you may know the truth of these words. You can sometimes feel their spirit with you. When I think of my grandparents who have passed, their spirit lives on in my memories and recollections – and even the things I own that were theirs that still carry their spirit.
This is true also with loved ones in our present lives. When they leave us for short periods of time, we often find their presence still with us in some way. It’s mysterious, but it’s there.
That’s what love does. Spirit fills the person’s absence in ways we don’t understand.
Spirit fills Jesus’ absence in the same way. That’s what the Ascension and the Feast of Pentecost celebrate and remind us of. Jesus is not here, but His Holy Spirit is alive and working in our midst, and through that Holy Spirit, He is with us always.
Our faith is built on believing that the Holy Spirit is active among us. We can’t see Jesus. We can’t physically experience His presence except through the Eucharist. What we do have is His Holy Spirit giving us nudges, helping us pray, leading us to experiences of God, and bringing about spiritual fruits in our lives.
By this, we know He is with us always, until the end of the age.