Jesus is no longer with us as he was before. Jesus is now with us as he never was before.
That’s what we celebrate on Ascension Day. The risen Jesus vanishes from sight, to empower his followers to find him anew as they spread his message to the ends of the earth.
That’s where we are even today. The risen Jesus lives among us, but not as he once did; he lives among us as he never did back then. If we want to see him, we mustn’t look to places where he used to be, whether in the past or up in the sky. We now see him in one another’s faces, and in the world he calls us to embrace just as he has already embraced us.
Jesus is no longer with us as he was before. Jesus is now with us as he never was before—not back then, not up there, but all around, within, and among us.