Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
Thursday, May 21
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.
~ Matthew 28:19
Of the four Evangelists, the Gospel of Matthew ends with the “Great Commission’ – the sending forth of the disciples. They arrive in Galilee, and we read in Acts 1:11, “why are you standing there looking at the sky?”, for by the time they had arrived, Jesus had already descended into heaven. It had to have been an incredible sight, and one that would have left any of us standing there, looking at the sky. The disciples are reminded that Jesus will return “in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” This return is a fulfillment of the promise which was made to us. The feast of the Ascension, at a cursory glance, looks like Jesus’s return to his Father and the leaving of his disciples. But at a closer look, we see that Jesus never leaves his disciples. He continues to be present with them, in an even more profound way. After the resurrection and before the Ascension, Jesus appears to specific people at specific places and times. Now, with the Ascension, Jesus becomes present to all of us in a profound and deep way. The Ascension is an acknowledgment of God above (the Father), with us and by our side (the Son) and within us (the Holy Spirit), and an invitation into the Kingdom.
Let us Pray
Dear Lord Jesus Christ,
Right before your Ascension into heaven you told your apostles to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth upon receiving the Holy Spirit. May I be similarly inspired to spread your Gospel message in word and deed, according to your will for me. And may I do so prudently and joyfully, with your help, your guidance, and your grace! And remembering this glorious event, help me to seek what is above, Heaven, where you are seated at the right hand of God the Father!
Enjoy watching Bishop Barron on Why the Ascension of Jesus Matters: