Gospel for May 20, 2012, Sunday, Ascension Sunday
1st Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Jesus was taken up.
In the first part of my work, Theophilus, I wrote of all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he ascended to heaven.
But first he had instructed through the Holy Spirit the apostles he had chosen. After his passion, he presented himself to them, giving many signs that he was alive; over a period of forty days he appeared to them and taught them concerning the kingdom of God. Once when he had been eating with them, he told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the fulfillment of the Father’s promise about which I have spoken to you: John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit within a few days.”
When they had come together, they asked him, “Is it now that you will restore the Kingdom of Israel?” And he answered, “It is not for you to know the time and the steps that the Father has fixed 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, even to the ends of the earth.”
After Jesus said this, he was taken up before their eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight. While they were still looking up to heaven where he went, suddenly, two men dressed in white stood beside them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen him go there.”
2nd Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23 (or 4:1-13 or 4:1-7, 11-13)
Christ has entered into heaven.
May the God of Christ Jesus our Lord, the Father of Glory, reveal himself to you and give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, that you may know him.
May he enlighten your inner vision, that you may appreciate the things we hope for, since we were called by God.
May you know how great is the inheritance, the glory, God sets apart for his saints; may you understand with what extraordinary power he acts in favor of us who believe.
He revealed his almighty power in Christ when he raised him from the dead and had him sit at his right hand in heaven, far above all rule, power, authority, dominion, or any other supernatural force that could be named, not only in this world but in the world to come as well.
Thus has God put all things under the feet of Christ and set him above all things, as head of the Church which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Gospel: Mark 16:15-20
Jesus said, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; the one who refuses to believe will be condemned. Signs like these will accompany those who have believed: in my Name they will cast out demons and speak new languages; they will pick up snakes and, if they drink anything poisonous, they will be unharmed. They will lay their hands on the sick and they will be healed.”
So then, after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and took his place at the right hand of God. The Eleven went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied them.
• Mark 16:15-20. Jesus gives his disciples the mandate to proclaim the Good News before he returns to the Father in heaven. They went out everywhere to continue the mission of Jesus.
• The Risen Lord empowers us to continue his good work on earth. But many are hesitant and hindered by many setbacks. The mandate of the master to evangelize is an imperative and empowering.
• In your prayer you will discover the presence of the risen Lord. Pray to recognize him in your personal and daily life.
• Look for the presence of the risen Lord in the community of the church, in people close to you, and in people in need. You will find him.
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