Saturday, June 04, 2011
ASCENSION OF THE LORD - A
ASCENSION OF THE LORD - A
Acts 1:1-11 / Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 / Eph 1:17-23 / Mt 28:16-20
In the first par t of my work, Theophilus, I wrote of all that Jesus
did and taught from the beginning until the day when he ascended to
heaven. But first he had instructed through the Holy Spirit the
apostles he had chosen. After his passion, he presented himself to
them, giving many signs that he was alive; over a period of for t y
days he appeared to them and taught them concerning the kingdom of
God. Once when he had been eating with them, he told them, "Do not
leave Jerusalem but wait for the fulfillment of the Father's promise
about which I have spoken to you: John baptized with water, but you
will be baptized with the Holy Spirit within a few days." When they
had come together, they asked him, "Is it now that you will restore
the Kingdom of Israel?" And he answered, "It is not for you to know
the time and the steps that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and
you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria,
even to the ends of the earth." After Jesus said this, he was taken up
before their eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight. While they
were still looking up to heaven where he went, suddenly, two men
dressed in white stood beside them and said, "Men of Galilee, why do
you stand here looking up at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken
from you into heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen him
Brothers and sisters, may the God of Christ Jesus our Lord, the Father
of Glory, reveal himself to you and give you a spirit of wisdom, that
you may know him. May he enlighten your inner vision, that you may
appreciate the things we hope for, since we were called by God. May
you know how great is the inheritance, the glory, God sets apart for
his saints; may you understand with what extraordinary power he acts
in favor of us who believe. He revealed his almighty power in Christ
when he raised him from the dead and had him sit at his right hand in
heaven, far above all rule, power, authority, dominion, or any other
supernatural force that could be named, not only in this world but in
the world to come as well. Thus has God put all things under the feet
of Christ and set him above all things, as head of the Church which is
his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
As for the Eleven disciples, they went to Galilee, to the mountain
where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Jesus, they bowed
before him, although some doubted. Then Jesus approached them and
said, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go,
therefore, and make disciples from all nations. Baptize them in the
Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach
them to fulfill all that I have commanded you. I am with you always
until the end of this world."
Today we celebrate the feast of the Ascension, the return of Jesus to
his Father in heaven. The Ascension is not just about Jesus' physical
absence in the world but about a dif ferent kind of presence. Our
experience of Jesus today is not like that of the disciples who saw
Jesus, touched him and ate with him. Our experience of the Risen Lord
is like that of the billions of people since then who have not seen
with their eyes but have real contact with Jesus through faith, the
sacraments, prayer and the life of the Church. That is why Jesus gives
the great commission to spread the Gospel. People will now encounter
Jesus through the life of the Church. He will be with us with the same
redeeming power and cleansing love as he was with the apostles but in
a different way.
The Ascension is not only about Jesus but also about us. Where Jesus
is now, we hope someday to be. Before his Ascension, Jesus said, "I am
going to prepare a place for you." Although in our life's journeys we
traverse different paths, our destination is the same which is to be
united with God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Because
Jesus returned to the Father and sent the Holy Spirit, he is more than
an example. He is now close to ever y one of us.
The Ascension is not about the absence but about the new, spiritual
presence of Jesus to all of us, wherever we are, through the Holy
Spirit. The Ascension means that Jesus has gone from our sight but not
from our life.
In all three readings today, reference is made to power. In the first
reading, Jesus makes this promise to his disciples: "You will receive
power when the Holy Spirit comes down on you. Then you are to be my
witnesses." Jesus establishes a direct connection her e between power
and witnessing. The power given by the Holy Spirit that Jesus promises
is a spiritual power, not a political, military, or financial power.
It is a power geared mainly to witnessing.
In the second reading Paul speaks of the immeasurable scope of God's
power in us who believe. Here again, what is referred to is a
spiritual power residing in the believer, and, presumably, enabling
the believer to witness to God's presence in his or her life.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus refers to the power given to him by his
Father and which he now communicates to his disciples of all times
which includes us as well. We are to make all human beings his
disciples by means of baptism and instruction in his ways. Now these
words of Jesus, because they are his last par ting words, are somewhat
like his last will and testament. They are particularly important and
solemn. We are to go, whether it is to a next door neighbor or to
another country, and make disciples. It is not an option but a command
to all who call Jesus their Lord.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of Abraham A.
… for the personal intentions of
- Andrew G.
- Josheil Dapo
- Mei-Mei Nabua
- JP and Danica
- Milo and Thelma
- Tito and Estrelle
- Josheil Dapo
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Boniface Htwai Aung
- Birthday: Johannson Jimmy Tee Jr.
- Birthday: Winnie V. Morabe
- Wedding Anniversary: Eric & Cynthia Gale
- Wedding Anniversary: Wilson Lim & Estela Lim
… for world peace and reconciliation.
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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