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Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
Acts 1: 1-11
Ephesians 1: 17-23
Luke 24:46-53
All of today’s readings focus on the Feast of the Ascension which
celebrates the taking up or elevation of the Risen Christ into
heaven. Celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter, this joyful day
commemorates the return of Christ to the right hand of God, and
provides the foundation for the disciples to return to Jerusalem. It
is from here that Christ informs his disciples that they are to
preach the good news about repentance and that the forgiveness
of sins should be preached in His name to all nations.
The key themes of wisdom, miracles, apocalyptic, and suffering-death-resurrection concepts
are the over riding images of today’s readings. Throughout, the messages to be spread to the
"ends of the earth,” about the core foundational aspects of Christianity, are present.
Wisdom’s main goal is to encourage "good" and discourage "bad” as Jesus acted as a transmit-
ter of God’s instructions. This led to Jesus and his disciples being the embodiment of God's
divine wisdom.
Miracles were an important part of Jesus' ministry when he was on the earth and they served as
living testimony of God's divine powers. They helped many believe in his powers and demon-
strated how God chose Christ as a conduit to healing strength.
Apocalyptic discourse refers to the future return of Jesus Christ. "So, when they had come to-
gether, they asked him, 'Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom of God?'" Je-
sus assured them that they will know when he returns. He emphasized the power or witness-
ing because it creates urgency about the present and future times and it was Jesus' last com-
mand for his people. It also demonstrated the importance for telling people about Jesus in
hopes that their lives will be preserved when evil is destroyed.
The last form of Christian discourse visible in these readings focused on the suffering-death-
resurrection. From descriptions of Jesus’ “ascension into heaven” and "until the days he was
taken up to heaven" which took place "After his suffering", Jesus appeared to his disciples and
proved his resurrection from the dead.
As witnesses to these phenomenal actions. we are all asked to do more than thank God for the
gift of his only Son, but to get to know Him personally and grasp the power of his strength and
reach of His hand. As Christians we are asked to glorify the way of life he has provided and to
clear the path of obstructions. And while Christ was placed on a throne, deep inside heaven,