The Ascension of the Lord ~ The Very Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI
Reading I: Acts 1:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Reading II: Eph 1:17-23
Gospel: Mk 16:15-20
Liturgical colour: White.
The Ascension=Being witnesses of Christ
Today we celebrate the Ascension of The Lord. This is when Our Lord and Saviour, after finishing his ministry here on earth, until he comes again in glory, returned to His Father in Heaven. Let us look at what God’s word of The Holy Gospel is telling us today:
Mark 16:15-20 (NIV)
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
The Gospel today seems to be focused more upon the apostles going out and spreading his Holy Gospel, than it does about Jesus going up to The Father. As Jesus goes to his Father, the message is to that we all must take over the spreading of Our Lord’s gospel now, and that we need to be witnesses to him. We are all called to share that which we have received, and to speak of what we have seen and heard.
We witness to Jesus in our lived in many ways. This includes by prayer, by reading and spreading the gospel and in our service of others in Christ’s love. Prayer is our time to be in personal touch with God who is constantly reaching out to us. The gospel is what feeds our souls, our minds, and our spirits, it is a daily opening to the true words and deeds of Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour. Our service in The Love of Christ to others, brings us to witness in the true way, the care of God as we give and receive care to each other.
This is what we give to our ascended Lord and is also what we receive from him. The word of God are the divine words of truth and
salvation, spoken in human words. All of our time with God is linking heaven and earth, and we are each sharers in his divinity as we are in Jesus and Jesus is also with us, he has shared in our humanity, . Far from being the absence of Jesus, it is his presence in a new way among us.
Indeed, Our Lord Jesus has gone back to The Father to make a heavenly place for us, and will return in Glory to bring us home. Until then, we are all called to continue our Lord’s ministry here upon the earth. We are the only Jesus that now can be seen, through our witnessing of him in our lives to others. Are you being a true witness of Christ in your life?
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus Christ, right before your Ascension into heaven you told your apostles to be your witnesses to the ends of the earth upon receiving the Holy Spirit. May we be similarly inspired to spread your Gospel message in word and deed, according to your will for us. And may we do so prudently and joyfully, with your help, your guidance, and your grace! And remembering this glorious event, help us to seek what is above, Heaven, where you are seated at the right hand of God the Father!
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