‘Go, make disciples of all nations!’
Forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus ascends to heaven. He ascends triumphant to sit at the Father’s right hand. For the disciples, their time of formation with him is over. How is their relationship with him altered?
The First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles gives an account of the Ascension. Jesus promises to send his Holy Spirit to be with his disciples, to fill them with his power, so that they can witness to him ‘to the ends of the earth.’
The Psalm emphasises Jesus’s triumph in his Ascension, and the whole Church sings in praise of the Lord who reigns over all.
The Second Reading also stresses Christ’s power. His Father has ‘put all things under his feet.’ That power is exercised for us, not only in the gifts of his grace, but also in the promise of eternal glories.
Matthew’s Gospel account of the Ascension focuses on Jesus’s authority and his sending forth of the disciples to witness, baptise and teach. He promises to be with them ‘to the end of time.’
I may want to pray today that those who are struggling to find peace, feel God’s presence in their heart.