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The Ascension

Today we celebrated the Ascension of the Lord.  Since we are in year C, we are reading from Luke’s Gospel.  Luke concludes his gospel with the story of Jesus taken up to the heavenly kingdom (i.e. the Ascension).  Then our first reading for today is the first eleven verses of The Acts of the Apostles which again tells the story of Jesus’ Ascension.

It is important to realize here that Luke is also the author of The Acts of the Apostles.  The importance of the Ascension is thus highlighted by Luke as the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry in the gospel and as the beginning of the Christian Church. 

Jesus had been telling his disciples that he would be going to the Father but they didn’t really understand what this meant.  Jesus could have simply disappeared and returned to the Father.  Instead, Jesus chose to ascend to the Father with the disciples watching so they would understand where he was going.  They must have finally understood because then they went off praising God with joy.

Jesus’ earthly ministry ends with the Ascension but the Christian faith lives on through the witness of his disciples.  His disciples did not keep the story of Jesus to themselves.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit they would receive at Pentecost, they went out to all the nations to witness to all they had seen.  The Church has been witnessing to Jesus for 2,000 years.  May we continue to witness to Jesus until the end of time.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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