The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
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by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
It’s one thing to know you’ve got a big job to do. It’s another to know that you can actually do it! As we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension my inclination is always to think, “Well, Jesus ascended to heaven. We’re here on our own!”
In today’s selection from the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus sends his disciples into the world with a mission. The Church is called to go to all the nations to make disciples. That’s a big task—it’s been two thousand years and we’re not finished yet!
But the “good news” today is that we are equipped to carry out that mission. In the second reading, from the Letter to the Ephesians, we’re invited to receive three special revelations: first, to know the “hope that belongs to God’s call”; second, to know the “riches of glory” that we’ve inherited; and third, to realize the “surpassing greatness of God’s power for us who believe.” It sounds like we are equipped for the mission to the world after all.
And finally, to get back to the Gospel we’re not on our own. Jesus promises, “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Through his Spirit which is poured out in the Church, Christ accompanies us in our mission. It’s a big job, but we have all the help we need. Let’s head down from the mountaintop with confidence and get to work!
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by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• This week’s first reading (Acts 1:1-11) from the Acts of the Apostles addresses the reader as Theophilus. That name means “Lover of God.” Are you a lover of God?
Jesus tells the apostles to stay in Jerusalem until they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. What does Jesus tell them that will mean?
What happens to Jesus after he finished talking to them?
• In the second reading (Eph 1:17-23), Paul prays that his readers—and us—will receive God’s gifts of wisdom and knowledge.
What will that do for us?
• In the Gospel, Matthew tells us that Jesus told the disciples to go to Galilee. What were they told to do in the reading from Acts of the Apostles?
What does Jesus tell the disciples to do? What is their mission?
What does Jesus promise? To remain always with us. Do you feel that Jesus is still with us?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Jesus instructed the disciples to go and make disciples of others. Since that time, many others have done the same thing, especially the saints. Read about the saints and ways in which they spread the Gospel message in their lives. You can find stories of the saints here.
• Think of ways that you, too, can help to spread Christ’s message to others. Try to find some opportunities to perform acts of kindness or service for others.