Seventh Sunday of Easter (Ascension) Year A

Published on 22 May 2017
Sunlight shining across mountain landscape, clouds below

God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope.

‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses, not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth.’ First Reading, Acts 1: 1–11

‘I am with you always’ Gospel, Matthew 28: 16–20

‘Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations.’ Gospel, Matthew 28: 16–20

May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see

what hope his call holds for you. Second Reading, Ephesians 1: 17–23

At the Ascension did Jesus abandon us, or is he with us always? He is no longer present with us in the same way as we meet people today. But he is very present to those who believe in him and love him.

I may find it helpful to read the text several times.

Although the story is familiar to me, there is often something new to be revealed. Far from an ending, it is a moment of empowering.

First, I try to enter into the scene. I place myself there with Jesus and the disciples.Do I bow down in worship…or do I hesitate..?

What do I see? What do I hear? How do I feel as He departs?

Perhaps I recall partings in my life? Loss of loved ones, coping with illness, being far from home. The times I can feel alone, with no one to listen or talk to; times without hope.

Do I hang on to Jesus’ parting words: ‘I am with you always’?

With quiet confidence, I pray to be given God’s Spirit of hope – hope in Christ and in his promises…

I hear him say: ‘Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations…’

Can I pray to realise that the invitation he speaks of is an invitation to me? To me in my weakness to spread the word; to continue his work; to be his witness; to bring hope to people – perhaps starting with my family, with those with whom I work, in my parish, etc. Thanks to the preaching of the Apostles I am here praying. To whom is the Lord asking me to go?