As his last words before he was taken up, Jesus commanded the Apostles, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel.”
Our missals rightly uses a small g in quoting Jesus as saying, “Proclaim the gospel” He didn’t say, “Proclaim the Gospel” with a big G, as though he was telling them to proclaim the Gospel story of his life. No, what he told them to proclaim was the good news.
What good news? Why, the good news that there can be another life for us after this life is finished. Jesus himself was proof of that. After passing through a terrible, complete death he was back better than ever. What’s more: he promised we could pass through death to new life just by clinging to him, by following his word.
In the second reading, which is from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, in verse 1:18 Paul prayed that our eyes might be opened to the hope that is ours to possess “the riches of glory in his inheritance among his holy ones.”
In his death on the cross Jesus represented all of humanity, atoning for all out sins. In somewhat the same way when he was disappearing through the clouds he did it as the representative of humanity. It was our common human nature that he was taking up to a place next to the Father. He was making a place for all of us there.