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Youth Ministry Resources - The Ascension of the Lord

Year A: Matt 28:16-20 - The Ascension of the Lord

As soon as we hear the word "mountain" we know that there is going to be an experience with God and so it is not surprising that Jesus asks the disciples to meet him on this mountain in Galilee. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up with the idea of Jesus ascending into heaven rather than the great commissioning of the disciples that happens on this mountain. This is so important because while Jesus was with them the disciples expected all power and authority to belong to Jesus. Now, Jesus is passing that authority on to his followers.

We hear that eleven disciples were there reminding us of the failures of Judas and even with those who were present "some hesitated" and so there continues to be weakness mingled with doubt with some of the disciples. The "disciples" are asked to go and make "disciples" of all the world - that means women and men, gentile and Jew, free as well as slaves and so this commissioning may seem quite daunting. Through our Baptism "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" we have become God's children and also God's disciples. So this message is for you and me. We are commissioned through our Baptism to "make disciples of all the nations…teach them to observe all the commands I gave you." Are we doing this? Certainly if we are parents or teachers we have been doing this, but Jesus doesn't just ask us to teach our children, no, the command is quite clear - all nations!

Not all of us are called to go to the mission countries and convert the masses, Jesus is asking us to do God's work right here and right now so it is worth reflecting on what we are doing and how we are doing it. Do those around us experience God's love and acceptance? Do we build people up or are we busy tearing them apart with gossip and innuendo? Do we share our faith happily with those we meet or do we keep God to ourselves? Yes, it can be daunting, but we are not alone. Jesus says I AM with you - the Emmanuel from Matthew's 1st chapter - God is with us (1:23) until the close of the age, the coming of the Basileia, God's Kingdom in all its fullness. So, be not afraid as you go to share God's love throughout this coming week.

Cate Mapstone

YOUTH ANGLE: everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine.

What is ours we take care of, right? We protect it, put it somewhere safe, don't waste it - right? Jesus talks about possessions in today's Gospel saying: everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine. And he says it to God the creator. That everything God has God shares with him, and everything he has he shares with God. What a fabulous way of looking at the world, it's resources and our lives. That everything we have - possessions, time, talent, friends, family, skills, money is God's too. And if we mean that it should be used for God. Whether it's a musical skill and you use it at mass, or a packet of chips you have that you could share with someone else and build a connection with, or your hard earned money that you contribute to people who have less. At the same time, everything of God's is ours. So that's nature for one - the trees, birds, minerals, deserts and oceans - ours to use responsibly, to respect, care for and enjoy. And people - perhaps God's biggest resource - we belong to each other too. Remember to take care of what God shares with us, and to share what we have with God.

Manuela Macri

Year C: Luke 24:19-20 - The Ascension of the Lord

Today's Gospel tells of a remarkable experience for the disciples as Jesus leaves them and returns to the Father. Jesus reminds the disciples what they have seen and what they have learnt and then he blesses them. Jesus names the disciples as his witnesses, people who will state publicly what they have seen and what they believe as a result of knowing Jesus. Straight away, there is a challenge for us. Who of us would be ready to stand in public and explain what we believe as a result of knowing Jesus! Sometimes it is not very public, but we are called upon to share our faith with others. It might be teaching our grandchildren how to pray and explaining why that prayer time with Jesus has always been important in our life. It might be speaking up for an ethical response in the workplace or explaining to others why you value your time with your husband or wife and how important family life is for you. This is another way of showing that you know the teachings of Jesus. It might be the sense of hope that you bring to conversations about our world.

There are numerous opportunities to speak of your knowledge and relationship with Jesus. Jesus speaks of sending the Holy Spirit and how the disciples will be clothed with power from on high. You and I have been clothed with power from on high at our Baptism, Confirmation and every time we participate in the Eucharist. We are the anointed ones who have been named priest, prophet and king. Just as the disciples worshipped Jesus and went back full of joy and were continually in the temple praising God. We too are called to be uplifted by our experience of God in our lives. One way of experiencing God is by coming together to celebrate the Eucharist together. Our liturgy is meant to transform us so that we are different as a result of gathering together to hear God's word and receive the Body and Blood of Christ. We too are meant to be filled with joy and go back to our homes, our work places, our gathering spaces and our play places praising God by being a delightful person to be with. When people ask themselves what makes you special, hopefully the conclusion drawn will be that you are a baptised child of God who is loved by God and shares that love in all facets of your life. That is the challenge - go for it.

Cate Mapstone

Youth Ministry Resources The Ascension of the Lord
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Youth Ministry Resources The Ascension of the Lord