Our Gospel lesson this week is Luke 24:44-53, taken today from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God.
This week we celebrate the Ascension of Christ. Scripture tells us that Jesus visited His followers and continued to teach them after being raised, but the time came for Him to return to heaven. The disciples witnessed Him being taken up and followed His instructions, waiting in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
One biblical scholar calls the Ascension “when the training wheels came off.” Jesus has taught us of the Father’s love and showed us how to live. Now the responsibility comes to us to carry on the work He began.
It may be hard to believe that we are called to do what Jesus did, but that is the mission He gave us. He has faith in us to share the Good News, teaching others as He taught us. We are His representatives, may we go in His name to tell the world.
Loving Lord, we are amazed that You chose us to be part of Your plan. Help us to be energetic bearers of Your word and Your love. Amen.