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Ascension Sunday - Year B

Sunday, 13 May, 2018
Mark 16: 15-20

The Word of God this Sunday, the Feast of the Lord’s Ascension into heaven, teaches us that our relationship with the Lord in his glory is no longer by way of our earthly eyes and ears but by the way of faith.  He is still here among us in each other and in his word and in the sacraments but it takes a graced kind of seeing and hearing with our hearts and souls to know him and to journey through our lives with him.

In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Luke describes to the first Christians what happened the day Jesus ascended into heaven beyond our eyesight. He stresses that we believers are now to be his hands and feet and spirit-filled witnesses in the world.

In the second reading Saint Paul describes the beauty and power of the risen Jesus in his heavenly glory who showers his spiritual graces into the hearts and minds of his disciples on earth so that we can see the true inner meaning of our lives by heaven’s light.  He sends us out into every corner of our culture, every day and in all our relationship, to use all the unique talents and gifts he has given us to bear witness to him. Above all our love, and our holy communion in the truth with him and with his Church, will be the sign of our authenticity as his disciples.

In the Gospel the Lord Jesus, explicitly and clearly, sends us out in his name, each of us with a special part of our own in rolling out God’s Reign.  A daunting prospect to be sure, but he promises that he will be with us always and that gives us hope, consolation and courage.  Therefore, as the angels advised, we do not stand idle, staring into the sky for him.  Instead we are to open our hearts and look around and about.  He is everywhere to be seen and served and worshipped in our brothers and sisters, especially in the little ones, the lost and the least of his brethren.

If our souls are healed of sin through repentance and confession, and brightened by daily prayer, we can also encounter him powerfully and intensely here at Holy Mass and in his risen body and blood of the Blessed Eucharist.

Fr. Conor Cunningham