And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
When Ignatius visited the Holy Land as a pilgrim, he snuck away one evening to the shrine where tradition says Jesus last stood before ascending to the heavens. Ignatius wanted to see which way the faint imprint of Jesus’ foot on the stone was pointing. It might seem trivial, but not to one in love with Jesus.
Although he would happily have stayed in Jerusalem, Ignatius’ Franciscan hosts sent him back to Spain, just as angels dressed in white asked the disciples, “Why are you standing there looking at the sky?” Get busy with your mission of spreading the Good News about Jesus.
Ignatius never returned to Jerusalem but founded the Jesuits to make Jesus known. His profound affection for Jesus “lifted him up” whenever obstacles seemed overwhelming. His faith touched countless others.
Will those who encounter us see more than the faint imprint of a foot on stone?
—Fr. Tom Rochford, S.J. is moving to Denver where he will serve as chaplain and artist-in-residence at Regis Jesuit High School. He is an artist (primarily oil painting), photographer and videographer.
Holy God, make us joyful in the ascension of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.
May we follow where he has led, for his ascension is our glory and our hope. Amen.