Solemnity Of The Ascension Of The Lord
May 17, 2015
Lectionary: 58 (NAB Translation)
Traditionally the Ascension is celebrated exactly 40 days into Easter on a Thursday, which is also 9 days before Pentecost. The United States bishops decided to most this solemnity to the 7th Sunday of Easter to ensure that more people could participate in this great celebration.
This week’s first reading from the book of Acts returns to the beginning of this story and tells us the account of the Ascension according to Luke. Jesus leaves the Apostles after He had spent 40 days with them in His resurrected Glory, but He doesn’t leave without giving them hope of what is to some without Him. He promises that they will be baptized by the Holy Spirit in a few days.
As He Ascends, two angels appear to remind them of their mission to go forth and get to work. It could have been tempting to be afraid and unsure of what to do now that He had left, but Jesus always keeps His promises.
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
- (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
This week’s second reading from the letter to the Ephesians is one of several options you could hear at Mass. St Paul assures us that this action of His Ascension is not His abandonment of His disciples, but instead is the fulfillment of the Father’s will for Him to be above all things.
Matthew 28:19A, 20B
- Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
This week’s Gospel tells us the version of Jesus last moments before the Ascension according to St Mark. Jesus gives specific instructions to take His message to the ends of the earth and continue the mission He started. His Ascension isn’t about His abandonment, but rather our empowerment of our mission.
Gospel Meditation from Bishop Vásquez
Today’s Gospel reading is a biblical basis for the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. How often do you pray for the sick?