May 12, 2013
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
Acts 1: 1-11
In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
I Am With You Always
This weekend we honor all our mothers, living and deceased. With them we beg the Lord, through Our Lady’s good prayers, to strengthen our families, to bless our homes. With the Church worldwide we also celebrate the feast of the Ascension. We can imagine the angels mentioned in today’s first reading saying to the apostles and to us: Why are you standing here looking up? Get on about your business. Live your lives in the joy and hope of the Risen Jesus.
Jesus is with us precisely because of God’s ongoing presence through the gifts of the Holy Spirit we receive at Pentecost. Like the words of our parents and other mentors, the Holy Spirit provides a rudder of direction for living out the gospel, for letting God take control of our lives. The Holy Spirit teaches us wisdom—to hold and shape our hearts, to motivate and challenge us, to bring us peace.
This suggests some homework for the coming week: figure out just what gifts of the Holy Spirit God has ready for each of us this Pentecost 2013. Perhaps it is a stronger faith. Perhaps the more practical gift of engaging my brain before opening my mouth. Perhaps I need the gift of patience. Or gratitude. Or stronger hope in my life. No matter what the need, God’s Holy Spirit is alive and active. And, as Jesus reminds us today: “Know that I am with you always…until the end of the world.”
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, this day we honor all our mothers, living and deceased. We pray in gratitude for their countless acts of love. We ask that their hearts’ desires be received by you. May our mothers who have joined you continue to watch over us and always know of our eternal love for them.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!