Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Feast of Ascension : B : May 13,2018


First Reading : Acts 1:1-11
Second Reading: Ephesians 1: 17-23
Gospel Reading: Mark 16: 15-20

   * First reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. This passage gives us a description of the apparitions of Jesus on various occasions after being raised from death. After a period of forty days, Jesus ascended to heaven and promised His disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit upon them and they shall witness to Him in Jerusalem, in Judea and in Sameria and to the ends of the world. As they were listening to Him, Jesus was lifted up to heaven and a cloud took Him out of their sight.

   * Second reading is from the letter of St. Paul to Ephesians. In this passage Paul explains the meaning of Ascension to the Ephesian Christians. He asserts that God raised Jesus above all earthly powers and made Him not only head of the Church but the the Lord of whole creation. Those who believe in Him will accomplish great things.

"Lord Jesus was Taken into Heaven"
Today's Gospel reading is from St. Mark. This passage tells us that after instructing the disciples, Jesus was taken up to Heaven and He sat down at the right hand of God. Further, that day Jesus commissioned His disciples to carry on the work that he began. Ascension of Jesus tells us that Jesus is no more physically present among the disciples. But now on they have to proclaim the good news to the whole world in His name.
The Feast of Ascension should gives us hope of a life after death and strengthen us by the abiding presence of Jesus among the disciples.
The following messages are given by this feast.
1. The Risen Lord is now in His glory and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
2. Jesus assures us that after His ascension He will send the Holy Spirit to guide us.
3. Jesus promises us that even after being ascended into heaven, He will continue to be with us till the end of the world (a) by the Word of God (b) by His sacramental presence in the Holy Eucharist.
4. Jesus' ascension gives us the hope that one day all those who believe in Him will participate in His glory. 

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