The closest star to our Solar system would be the Alpha Centauri AB, found 41.5 trillion kilometers away from the Sun. With this distance, its light reaches the Earth’s atmosphere after 4.37 years. Thus, the light we see from her tonight is something which shone last early 2006.
The vast universe holds other stars as well. The lights from the farthest ones happened millions to billions years ago. Those stars may already be dead, yet we continue to see their radiant shines. That’s the beauty of existence.
This analogy was used by our parish priest in delivering his anticipated Mass tonight. In Jesus Christ’s Paschal Mystery of suffering, death, and resurrection, our lives are renewed in His love. In His glorious Ascension to Heaven, we are given hope that the Holy Spirit will be our companion all throughout our life’s journey. This promise continues to burn in the heart of each Christian — even though Jesus is not physically with us anymore. The light of His life here on Earth continues to burn and inspire us like those already dead stars millions of lightyears away from the solar system.
And so with existence, as we breathe we continue our daily struggle. At the end of our stay in this world, we are measured with how we were able to shine ourselves to other people. Truly, how we die is how we will live.
TRIVIA: It is only in the Philippines were the Seventh Sunday of Easter is celebrated as Ascension Sunday (aside from the usual Ascension Thursday). Truly a remarkable tradition indeed.