Feast of the Ascension of the Lord 8th May 2016
This gospel passage is of endings and beginnings. Jesus tells His Disciples that He is going away. He reminds them of what He told them earlier; how He would suffer and, on the third day rise from the dead. He reminded them that they were witnesses to His living and dying and rising again. And He told them that in His name repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations.
By telling His Disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit and they would be clothed with power from on high Jesus sought to give them courage and strength for all that was to happen. He was trying to tell them this was the end of His time with them and He was saying “goodbye”.
They went out into the country near Bethany and Jesus blessed them by lifting up His hands. He then withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven.
We might expect the Disciples then to be fearful and sad but we are told they returned to Jerusalem “full of joy”
Is this the result of the Holy Spirit?
Or is it because Jesus gave them courage?
Perhaps it was because they were secure in their knowledge of Jesus and they knew He kept His promises, they knew He would be with them always…….. so they had nothing to fear.
What can we learn from this Gospel reading?
I suggest we ponder on all that had happened to the Disciples since they met Jesus and see how often He rescued them from danger or gave them courage to face any situation.
They let us look at our own lives along these lines.
Jesus is ever constant – we need only place our trust in Him and do our best. The rest is up to Him who loves us greatly.
Sr. Patricia O’Reilly OP