Resources - The Ascension of the Lord
A: Matt 28:16-20 - The Ascension of the Lord
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.
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!
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
ANGLE: everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine.
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.
C: Luke 24:19-20 - The Ascension of the Lord
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
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.
Ministry Resources The Ascension of the Lord
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