ASCENSION OF THE LORD Solemnity (Seventh Sunday of Easter)
Also Read: Mass Readings for 16 May 2021
First Reading: Acts 1: 1-11
He Stayed with them!
“While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me” (4)
Have we been ordered by the Lord to not leave Jerusalem and wait there? Does life seem to be a turmoil sometimes, like a whirlwind that sweeps you over the years? Has a particular situation rocked our boats so hard that we can hardly stay afloat in it? Do we then hear the savior say to us: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father.” One institution that could be bearing the brunt of this current pandemic is the holy sacrament of Matrimony. With jobs lost and most people in forced lock-ins at home globally, there seems to be a tremendous amount of stress on everyone. In this stormy sea as he stays in our boat, could the Lord be saying those same words to us today?
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (8) “While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.” (10) “They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (11)
The simple group of fishermen and other downcasts of society had been following a Lord who was to redeem the world. Yet he didn’t go out with an army and sword to annex his kingdom. Instead, he suffered and died, then after three days, he stood among them living and talking! The Risen Christ must have shone in his divinity to them and the image of him alive after his resurrection can never be explained in words! His true divine present self is! That is all! For the disciples, the experience must have been truly a deeply profound one. He stayed with them!
He stays with us today! In our lockdowns and isolations! He is sitting next to us, hugging us! We need to just turn our gaze upward toward him and feel his warm embrace. Amen.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 47: 2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Shift your gaze!
“God is King over the nations, God sits on his holy throne.” (8)
Lift up your gaze and see him on the throne over the nations. May he grant us the grace to lift up our gaze. Amen!
Second Reading: Ephesians 4: 1-13
We are one!
“There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, (4) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (5) one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (6)
We have one God and one Father, who lives in us through his holy spirit! We ought to safeguard our unity with God, his people all over the world, and in our families too.
Gospel: Mark 16: 15-20
The Great Commission
“They will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (18)
Could there be a deadly thing we need to pick up and out of our lives? Is there a vice or an attitude that needs to be cut off? -That gluttonous or lecherous habit perhaps, which has long coiled itself around us? Or the fangs of fear and doubt? We can pick up each such slithering trait and cut it off completely. These traits have long held their grip over us and as soon as we cut them off, we are able to experience a definite sense of relief and joy in our inner being. The constriction that held us, slave, for so long, is vanquished through the power of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord permit us the grace to take the right action. Amen!
Christ commissions his disciples to go into the world and proclaim the good news. May we first proclaim the Good News to our own self! May we believe in His Good News and set our own selves free! He has promised us the signs, once we truly believe in him. Then, as we venture to proclaim his good news to others, we will see miracles occur in our own lives. Amen!
We believe Lord, Help our unbelief! Help us O LORD to be vigilant and steady in faith! Thank You, GOD! Mother Mary Pray for us, Amen!