“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Some of the most reassuring words in the Gospel come from the evangelist Matthew who tells us that Jesus will be with us always, even until the end of time.
The story of the Ascension is our spiritual touchstone—the fulfillment of Christ’s victory over death.
Forty days after his resurrection from the dead, and after visiting with his apostles, Jesus made one last appearance—on Mount Olivet. With a traditional Jewish blessing, he raised his hands in a final parting and ascended into heaven to be glorified with the Father. His earthly work was completed, his mission fulfilled.
The Ascension is a reminder that we, too, have been called, sent forth, and transformed in God’s glory. And by example, we are witnesses to the gift of salvation in Christ. That is our mission calling—at home, at work, at school, at prayer. The Ascension is not so much about Jesus leaving us, but Jesus sending us out to be who we were called to be. The Ascension invites us to wear a new mantle of faith… to both transform and be transformed.
Friend, we know that our faith deepens and grows when we share it. That is our calling, and our reward. Remember, Jesus promised that he has prepared a place for each of us “so that where I am you also may be.” (John 14:3) when you celebrate the feast of the Ascension, know that you are destined for glory in the presence of God and all the saints.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 4th Sunday May 24, 2020
All glory, honor, and praise to You,
Lord Jesus Christ, crucified and risen,
You triumphed over sin and death
and taught us the way that leads to life.
Ascending up to heaven You returned
to God the Father and commissioned us
to complete Your work on earth
of building Your kingdom of love,
mercy, forgiveness, peace and justice.
We look up to You, Lord, for guidance.
Help us accept Your gifts of grace,
knowledge, science and faith
to go out to the whole world to announce
Your Good News of salvation.
In Jesus’ name.
Prayer by Father Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.