The Ascension of the Lord – June 1, 2014
Traditionally this would be the 7th Sunday of the season of Easter, but in our diocese, like in most of the country’s we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord on this Sunday so that more people can attend it than if it were celebrated on the 40th day this past Thursday.
The first reading from the Acts of the Apostles is a little out of order from the flow we have been following for a few weeks now. This time, we read from the beginning of the second book written by the Evangelist, St. Luke. In many ways, this is a continuation of the third Gospel, and we pick up where Jesus has been resurrected for 40 days, and this is His final commissioning as He Ascends into Heaven. He also prepares the way for next week’s feast of Pentecost. The most important part of this reading is not in the act of His Ascension, but rather the words of the Angels that appear to them while they’re staring at the sky. Jesus Ascended, but the mission has only begun, and He has not abandoned us. Don’t worry, we are certain He will return, but we have work to do until then.
Responsorial Psalm PS 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
R/ (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
The second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is full of rich imagery about saints, angels, and heaven. Ever since Jesus had Ascended, there was some confusion about our access to the Lord. To many in the time, Jesus seemed to be too far out of reach and required deep levels of intercession to hear us. St. Paul takes this opportunity to remind us that He has not abandoned us, and shows us that Jesus has been revealed to us and is greater and more powerful than everything created. We can be certain He is near our hearts.
This week’s Gospel is a short four verses from St. Matthew. We hear the conclusion of the first Gospel. In their worshiping of Jesus Christ in His glorified and resurrected state, we hear that the Apostles are doubting even then. Then Jesus asserts Himself as God and gives them their final mission to go forth and baptize all nations. Even in their fear and concerns, Jesus remains faithful and true. He will not abandon us.
Question for Reflection?
How are you serving this mission? How can we better proclaim the love of the Lord outside of the walls of the Church?
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