Jesus Keeps His Word

May 15, 2018

Gospel Reflection, The Ascension of our Lord, Year B
Acts of the Apostles 1: 1-11; Ephesians 4: 1-13; Mark 16: 15-20

Jesus Keeps His Word

At the Ascension of our Lord there are hints in scripture that the disciples were struggling with Jesus leaving them.  But Jesus always keeps his word.  He says that signs will accompany them.  These are vivid signs indeed.  “They will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.  They will pick up[ serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.  They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”  These signs are meant to let us know that Jesus will always be with us.  We will know this by his grace and power in our lives. 

This power, however, is not a worldly power, but a power of charity, of kindness, of dependence on the living God.  Jesus gave them the work.  It was to go and baptize people of all nations, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  And he reassured them that he would be with them until the end of the age. 

This is not unlike graduations.  At graduations, we move to a new place in which we must be stronger.  The support system that we have had changes and gives way to a new way of gaining that support.  For the disciples, they now had a new level of responsibility.  But they saw the glory of the Lord, seated at the right hand of the Father.  And they would have realized that heaven and earth are really not so far away.  And their prayer would have been a simple continuation of the conversations that they had before, only now carried out in the Holy Spirit.  And they would have remembered more and more all of the things that he said and did and told them to do. 

Jesus was faithful to his words.  So many missionaries have indeed brought the gospel to the ends of the earth.  They have relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide them and to live their lives with Jesus.  The Ascension, therefore, strengthens hope of attaining heaven and draws forth from us a greater faith. 

Our lives are a series of transitions and growth.  It is these times that we have the opportunity to remember and to explore the words of Jesus to us.  Since we cannot stand there looking at the sky, what is it that the Lord is asking of us now?  May God bless you all.

Father Tony