Today we celebrate the feast of Jesus' Ascension into heaven. It is on this day that the human Christ was raised fully into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of his Father. According to the first reading, the ascension happened forty days after Jesus rose from the dead. So on the fortieth day we remember and celebrate the ascension of our saviour into the heavenly Kingdom, and thus ending Christ's earthly ministry.
Majority of today's Gospel is Jesus instruction and commissioning of the disciples to "proclaim the good news to the whole of creation" (Mk 16:15). With the conclusion of the Gospel, quickly summing up Jesus' ascension and the apostles actions thereafter.In the Gospel, Jesus equips again to his disciples the mission that he stated since the time he rose from the dead: to go into the world and proclaim the good news.Before he leaves he assures his disciples once more what their duty is.
In todays First reading, Luke describes his version of the Ascension of Christ. At the very end of the reading, we hear about the interaction of the Apostles and " two men in white robes" (Acts 1: 12). These men begin to talk to the apostles, and with their message you can see that their are telling them: stop staring at the sky, you got work to do, now go do it. This work, is the work that Jesus left them to do; the work to proclaim the good news.
St Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians (4:1-13) gives us a gimps into this call. The letter begins with Paul identifying that each of us has a calling, and that we must live a life worthy of that call (Eph 4:1) In this letter, Paul identifies that we have all been called, to a variety of vocations, and that the purpose of these vocations are "..for the building up of the Body of Christ..." (Eph 4: 12). Each of us have a different job in life. If it is the job of being a mother or father, or a job that we work Monday to Friday, or if it's a job of being present. We all have a different job and in each job we must work to build Gods Kingdom. St Paul says that we accomplish this by being filled with humility and gentleness, with patience and loving one another.
|The Pope in Rio 2013|
Whenever we gather at Mass for the celebration of the Eucharist, we gather as individuals. We gather, all as different people, in different states of life, into a unique building. It is a building where we lose our individualism and take on again the identity as the " Body of Christ." When the opening prayer is said, it gives us a new title, a new personality if you will. It leaves behind the struggles of our everyday life and makes us a piece of an unending mystery that gives continuous praise to God.
It is through the participation of this great mystery, that is the Mass, that we are fed, nourished and strengthened to proclaim the good news in our life. Before we can give something, we must have received it first. So before we can feed others, we must first be fed from the mouth of God, and that is accomplished through participation in Mass.
As we await the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, may we come to "proclaim the Good news" with our lives. May we come to discern our call, our role with the Lord, the giver of our calls. MAy we come to him, and be refreshed, nourished and strengethed each Mass to carry out our call and to proclaim the Good News.
|P.s Not sure why, but I had a hard time with this post! Please forgive me...|