Sunday, May 13
The Ascension of the Lord
Mark 16: 15 – 20
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
Today, we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord – the final revelation of the Paschal Mystery. Each time we make the sign of the cross, we should consider that the symbol of the cross we make represents much more than simply Jesus’ crucifixion. We should be reminded of Jesus’ entire life on earth – His birth, His young life, His adult life, His public life, His suffering, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension. All of these experiences of Jesus reveal to us the Paschal Mystery. As Jesus ascends into heaven, he does not leave us to our own devices. He departs, yet leaves us with His Advocate – the Holy Spirit. By doing so, He assures us we will never be alone.
Jesus spent so much time teaching his disciples, one would think he would be most careful in what words he would choose to use as a final instruction. He did pick his words with care and left his disciples with four missions:
There is the duty for us to evangelize. We need to communicate a life’s vision contained in the Gospels. It is the duty of every Christian to become disciple like.
The Church has the task of healing – body, soul, mind, and spirit – the whole person. It is our calling to do this.
Jesus promises that we will receive special power, when we do this. This power is not political or economic, but power that comes from a vibrant life to overcome day to day trials and setbacks.
Finally, the Christian community is not alone. Jesus is with us until the end of the time.
As the Easter Season winds down, we are now refueled by the Holy Spirit. This fuel should continue to be with us through the remainder of the Church year through the sacraments and recalling the totality of gifts from the Paschal Mystery.
Deacon Don Poirier