The Ascension of the Lord
First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 47
Second Reading: Hebrews 9:24-28, 10:19-23
Gospel: Luke 24:46-53
When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. (Acts 1:6-11)
Today we remember and celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. This is the day that Christ was lifted up into Heaven and took His place at the right hand of the Father. This was the completion of the first part of God's plan. He came, suffered, died, all for our sins. He was raised from the dead in victory over sin and death, and now sits at the right hand of the Father waiting for the time where He will come back to judge the world. So the question which has been with Christ's followers since the beginning is; "What do we do until then?"
The disciples had the right idea, they listened to Jesus' instructions. They waited for the Holy Spirit to show them the way. While waiting, they spent time in the temple praising God and they spent time reflecting on the scriptures. They trusted in the Lord with their entire lives, and spent the rest of their earthly life proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to the people of "Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." This was the mission, the purpose to which God created them. After they saw Jesus lifted up into the cloud, they spent the rest of their lives looking towards Heaven, and never looking back to what used to be.
We too must spend our time looking towards heaven, because that should be the main goal of each of us. Heaven is what we should each be striving for, and everything that we do here on earth, whether is is school, work, family, friends, volunteering, etc; should all be things that lead us closer to the Lord and one step closer to heaven. As I said before, the Apostles spent the rest of their lives looking toward heaven and following Christ. That is the example of which we should follow. We also need to spend time praising Him, as well as spending time with Him in prayer and scripture reading. It is our responsibility to not just keep this great secret of salvation to ourselves, we should also be working towards spreading the good news of Jesus with everyone we come in contact with and "to the ends of the earth." For that is one of our purposes in this life as well.
May we all stay close to Jesus in this life, so that one day we too might be lifted into heaven to take our place with our Father who loves us.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for sacrificing your self, dying for our sins and for giving us a chance at a full life. Lord, help us cling to you rather than this world, for it is only by living a life for and with you that we can find happiness and eternal life. We pray for all those in need of conversion, that they may find peace and joy in your love. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.