Readings for June 2, 2019
The Ascension of the Lord
Ephesians 1:17-23 or
Hebrews 9:24-28, 10:19-23
Just eight weeks ago, the Apostles were huddled in the upper room, door locked, fearing what might happen next. Jesus was gone from their midst and they were completely lost and afraid. Now, when Jesus leaves them again, ascending up to heaven, they “returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.” No longer hidden from sight, they were ready to move ahead with their mission to tell the world of the Good News of Christ.
This meant returning to Jerusalem, a place that had once provoked a paralyzing fear among the brothers, but this time it is clear that the Apostles finally and fully understood Jesus’ teachings regarding the joy of the Good News. With their joyous return to Jerusalem the Apostles had faith that they could do all things through Jesus, invoking his name with praise and glory to God. The power they gained through the Holy Spirit allowed for them to be “witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
As Christians, we have the same power and the same calling. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul writes, “through the blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh.” Jesus’ incarnation and his sacrifice offer us the opportunity to be present-day witnesses, spreading his Word to the ends of the earth.
As baptized and confirmed Christians, we are called to continue ahead with the Apostolic mission. Accepting this mission does not offer us earthly prosperity, high esteem from our brothers and sisters, or an end to any suffering we have or will encounter. But it offers us an opportunity for heavenly prosperity, the joy of the fulfillment of the Gospel, and eternal life filled with the love of and for our Father.
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, you have given me a Spirit of wisdom and revelation providing knowledge of him. May the eyes of my heart be enlightened, that I may forever know the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power. Lord I believe. Send down Your Spirit. Amen
-Based on Ephesians 1:17-19