Saturday, June 01, 2019
SUNDAY, ASCENSION OF THE LORD
June 2, 2019 – SUNDAY, ASCENSION OF THE LORD
Acts 1: 1 – 11 / Heb 9: 24 – 28; 10: 19 – 23 / Lk 24: 46 – 53
FROM THE 1ST READING: Acts 1: 1 – 3, 8 – 9
In the first part of my work, Theophilus, I wrote of all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day 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 forty days he appeared to them and taught them concerning the kingdom of God. . .
"…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.
FROM THE 2ND READING: Heb 10: 19 – 23
So, my friends, we are assured of entering the Sanctuary by the blood of Jesus who opened for us this new and living way passing through the curtain, that is, his body. Because we have a high priest in charge of the House of God, let us approach with a sincere heart, with full faith, interiorly cleansed from a bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast to our hope without wavering, because he who promised is faithful.
GOSPEL READING: Lk 24: 46 – 53
And he went on, "You see what was written: the Messiah had to suffer and on the third day rise from the dead. Then repentance and forgiveness in his name would be proclaimed to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.. Now you shall be witnesses to this. And this is why I will send you what my Father promised. So remain in the city until you are invested with power from above."
Jesus then led them almost as far as Bethany; then he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And as he blessed them, he withdrew (and was taken up to heaven. They worshipped him. They returned to Jerusalem full of joy and were continually in the Temple praising God.
The Lord's Ascension is often given as a departure, a good-bye to his disciples on earth. The Lord's Ascension is indeed Jesus' departure from this world: his physical absence, the pain of separation and the uncertainty of the future. Yet his Ascension was also very different: "They worshipped him. They returned to Jerusalem full of joy and were continually in the Temple praising God." (Lk 24: 51b-53)
As Jesus ascended into heaven, he was returning home, to where he came from. And the people who saw this likewise returned to where they came from.
It is the beauty of coming home, about knowing that one has a home to return to.
The Lord's Ascension reminds us again and again that there is a home waiting for us, that someone up there is waiting for us to join him in our home.
Every year as we celebrate the Lord's Ascension we remind ourselves that we are not homeless, that Jesus opens and invites us into our heavenly home. At the second reading from the letter to the Hebrews, we hear: "Christ did not enter some sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself. He is now in the presence of God on our behalf." (Heb 9: 24) He is now in power at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us, our Lord and Brother, God and man like us. We are invited to the same sanctuary, to share in the presence and joy of God.
The Lord's Ascension brings us back home. It reminds us how home is finding the fullness of life which God desires for us and probably more so, finding the God who is the source of this fullness. And once we find him, we return to our own Jerusalem rejoicing and full of joy.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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