Mass & Directions

Sunday June 2nd: The Ascension of The Lord

St. Francis Parish | June 2, 2019, 12:04 pm | Reflections

  As we have heard in Luke’s Gospel chapter 24:46-53, Jesus reminds His disciples of all that has been foretold and now fulfilled through His death and resurrection.  “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (LK 24:46-47)  Jesus then charges them with this task, “You are witnesses of these things.” (LK 24:48)  Before He Ascended, Jesus told the disciples that He was “sending the promise of My Father”. (LK 24:49)  Just as we as Catholics, through our Confirmation, are given “a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ” (CCC 1302) this charge to preach given by Jesus to His disciples has been handed down from generation to generation and now to us.  We are witnesses to Jesus’ fulfillment of the Scriptures and to the Salvation that can only be found through Him.
  In the following verses (LK 24:51-52), Jesus “was taken up to heaven.” but the disciples were filled with “great joy”.  Why would they have been joyous as Jesus left them?  Did He really leave them?  Is Jesus not still here with us at this moment today?  We heard last week in the Gospel of John 14:8 Jesus say, “If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father.”  Earlier in this chapter of Luke, verse 45, Jesus “opened their minds to understand the scriptures.”  The disciples have finally come to understand their task.  They have come to understand that Jesus is always with them.  They have come to understand that through their preaching in His name, they too, along with the many whom come to believe through their words, may one day also be along side the Father in heaven.
  Let us understand that Jesus is calling us to follow the disciples lead.  Let us be witnesses to all that has been fulfilled and share this good news with those we encounter in our lives.
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