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Gospel Reflection for Ascension Sunday: We will be all there in Forty Days

posted Jun 2, 2011, 6:35 PM by Nick Ballesteros
In most major stages in biblical history of salvation, number forty has acquired religious significance indicating the appropriate divine timing.  

The first world cleansing, which took place during Noah’s time, was accomplished after the non-stop downpour of rains for forty days and forty nights.  Noah and his family stayed another forty days inside the ark before exploring the earth which was submerged in great flood in the past forty days.

Twice in his life, Moses spent forty days in the mountain, encountering, talking, and seeing God in a personal and closest way.  The Israelites wondered in the wilderness for forty years before reaching the edge of the Promised Land.  Prophet Elijah, sustained in his strength by the angelic bread, continued his journey for forty days and reached Carmel to meet God in the gentle breeze of the place.

Prophet Jonah brought the stern warning to the Ninivites that in forty days, everyone and everything in the city would be destroyed unless all would repent. 

Jesus, in His firm and faithful adherence to His Jewish roots, initiated the final breakthrough of Israelites’ faith in God into the world sphere by engaging Himself into the scriptural and religious significance of number forty.   Jesus, led by the Spirit of the Father, ushered in the coming of the new age by fasting and praying in the desert for forty days and forty nights and that was after being baptized by John at the river Jordan. 

After three years of saving ministry, Jesus engraved His final days with His disciples with series of post-resurrection faith-affirmation and confirmation for forty days.  This final forty days of the Risen Lord’s appearances lays the final layer of Faith foundation, the strong anchor of Christian Hope and ultimate measure of Love. 

Jesus’ final words:  go, make nations my disciples, baptize them, teach them to fulfil what I command, when put into actions would prove the dawn of the new age which reflects the great and better future being taking place at present. 

That’s the divine timing when Jesus, in His people, really ascends to the Father.

Fr Ambet