Ascension 2022: Christ’s Kingdom v. the Kingdom of Satan
By Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.
Today we celebrate Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord, in His glorified body, into Heaven 40 days after He rose from the dead.
In our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke tells us that Jesus “was lifted up in a cloud him from their sight.”
Then two Angels appeared as men dressed in white garments, and spoke to the Apostles: “This Jesus who has been taken up into Heaven will return Ithe same way” – that is, in glory.
So, what does Jesus now do in Heaven until He returns at His Second Coming, at the end of the world?He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Our Psalm today(Ps. 47) reveals this truth: Jesus is the “great king over all the earth” who “reigns over the nations.”
Jesus came to earth to establish His kingdom. What is the nature of His Kingdom?
The Jews at that time were expecting a Messiah who would be a king in the line of King Davidand who would institute a purely earthly kingdom; he would restore the Davidic kingdom in all its former glory as it was 1000 years before Christ.
Even Jesus’own Apostles thought in these earthly terms. Before Jesus ascended, they asked Him: “Lord, are you going to store the kingdom of Israel?”
The truth is, Jesus did not come to restore the kingdom of Israel. What kingdom did he come to establish?
Our second reading today from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians tells us:
God the Father “raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavens. He put all things beneath his feet and placed him as head over the church, which is his body.”
Here we see revealed that Christ’s Kingdom is the Catholic Church, which is His Mystical Body. Christ reigns over the Church as Head, and we – all the baptized – are members of His Body.
Jesus commands us who are members of the Church,His Body, to proclaim the Kingdom.
At his Ascension, as we read in our first reading from Acts, Jesus tells His Apostles: “After the Holy Spirit comes upon you [at Pentecost, which was ten days away] you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.”
At the end of St. Matthew’s Gospel, before Jesus ascends into Heaven, Jesus gives His Apostles what is known as the “Great Commission”: “Go and preach to all nations, teaching them all that I have taught you; and baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus came to earth to redeem us and to establish His Kingdom, the Church. Baptism is the way we become members of HisChurch, His Body.
The first words of Jesus after His baptism in the Jordan River by his cousin John are these: “The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk. 1:14-15).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church(CCC) no. 541 says: “The Church on earth the seed and the beginning of the kingdom.”
The Church, Christ’s Mystical Body, will be fully perfected only on the Last Day, when Christ comes again to separate the sheep from the goats.
This leads to another important truth. Who are these goats? And to whose kingdom do they belong?
Well, just as Jesus has His kingdom, so does Lucifer have his. Just as Jesus has His Mystical Body made up of His members, his followers, so does Lucifer have his members, his followers. This includes all those who cooperate, knowingly or unknowingly, with the Devil in opposing and trying to overthrow Christ’s Kingdom; all those who are deceived by the evil one, and are his servants.
Here I’ll offer a few examples.
Karl Marx in his writings outlined the atheistic communist system and state. Marx was a Satanist. You can read about all about this in a book, The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism’s Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration, by Paul Kengor, Ph.D., published in 2020.
Marx’s follower – like Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong – established atheistic communism in Russia and China: godless, totalitarian states.
The present leader of communist China, Xi Jinping, recently ordered that no one under the age of 18 could attend any religious service in that country. He wants to stamp out all religious belief and make his nation a totally secular, atheistic state.
Over a number of decades in the last century, communists murdered hundreds of millions of their own people to bring about their demonic, totalitarian system of government.
Today there are those who promote a new version of a godless, totalitarian state – essentially communist or radically socialist, but with a different face. They call it the “New World Order.” The promoters of this New World Order meet yearly at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland.
One of their leaders is Klaus Schwab, who outlines his diabolical plans in his book, Covid 19 and the Great Reset. Schwab is on record saying that in the New World Order, “you’ll own nothing, but be happy.”
We have those today in government – lawmakers and judges, and those in the media who promote the killing of unborn children under the banner of “choice.” These are servants of Satan who, Jesus tells us, “was a murderer from the beginning” (Jn. 8:44).
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently released a report stating that pro-abortion advocates plan to burn down the U.S. Supreme Court building and murder justices and their law clerks once Roe v. Wade is overturned (which is expected to happen in June – the Supreme Court will likely rule that there is no constitutional right to abortion, and that the decision to permit or ban abortion should be left to the individual states). In other words, “You take away our (claimed) constitutional right to kill innocent babies in the womb, and we will kill you!”
The Friday before last, May 22, 2022, the Kenosha News carried a front-page story of how hundreds of students at our public high schools – Tremper, Bradford, Indian Trail, and others – all connected on social media and walked out of school to stage a protest of the upcoming Supreme Court decision, demanding that the Court not take away the so-called “right” to kill children in the womb.
We must pray for these poor young people.
Then there are those in the television, movie and music industries who promote sexual immorality. They are servants of Satan as well.
The purveyors of pornography – which destroys the minds and hearts of so many, especially men – claim a First Amendment right to peddle their smut.
Last month UNICEF, the United Nations children’s fund, issued a statement saying the “there is no evidence that pornography does harm to children” and that efforts to block children from pornography “may infringe on their human rights.”
I could go on with a list of other evils. The point is that we as followers of Jesus have to acknowledge Christ as King, and work to establish His reign, and spread His Kingdom on earth.
CCC 543 teaches: “Everyone is called to enter the kingdom” of Christ; that is, all peoples from all nations.
So what must we do as baptized members of Christ’s Body the Church, to spread His Kingdom? We must be willing to explain and to defend the truths of our Catholic Faith before others.
But especially, we must be saints; we must lead good, holy lives and thereby be examples of Christ and His love, and thus draw others to Jesus so that they too may become members of HisChurch, of His Kingdom.
And we must turn to Our Lady as well. She, we know, will crush the head of the serpent, the devil (cf. Gen. 3:15).
We already know how the battle will turn out:We will be victorious, if we remain faithful to Jesus, Our Savior and Our King. Just read the book of Revelation.
Let us pray, asking that Our Lady assist us in being authentic witnesses to Jesus Christ in order to spread His Kingdom on earth, andto build up His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.