Bishop Robert Barron explains the Ascension of Jesus in this way:
The Bible speaks indeed of “heaven” and “earth,” but it sees these two realms as interacting and interpenetrating fields of force.
Jesus’ great prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, which is constantly on the lips of Christians, is distinctively Jewish in inspiration:
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Notice that this is decidedly not a prayer that we might escape from the earth, but rather that earth and heaven might come together. The Lord’s prayer recapitulates and raises to a new level precisely what the prophet Isaiah anticipated: “the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth, as the water covers the sea.”
The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit down through the ages, is meant to be the privileged place where this coming-together happens.
In good preaching, in great Christian art, in the architecture of our churches and cathedrals, in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, in the lives of the saints,
and perhaps especially in the liturgy, earth and heaven meet.
Bishop Robert Barron states that, “the Ascension of Jesus has nothing to do with a literal journey into the stratosphere, for that would involve simply a transfer to another position within “the world.” The Ascension is Jesus’ journey, not to another place, but to another dimension. But this dimension to which he has gone is not alien to us. It is instead a source of inspiration, power, and direction. And this is why the angels (denizens of heaven) who appear to the disciples just after Jesus’ departure say, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” What they are hinting at, none too subtly, is this: under the influence of Jesus’ spirit, get to work! Do all that you can to foster the marriage of heaven and earth! Get on with the mission of the church!”