26 May 2022 The Ascension of the Lord
‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 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.’
From Acts 1:1-11, NRSV
On this Feast of the Ascension we return to the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles and hear about the departing of the physical Jesus and his return to heaven. Jesus had spoken to his disciples since his resurrection about the fact that this would happen, but when it came to it, the apostles were confused. They thought Jesus was speaking about the restoration of Israel rather than about how they would become responsible for preaching the Gospel. Even after Jesus had disappeared from their sight they stood gazing at the sky. They were brought back to earth by two angels who asked why they were looking into the sky. They were not to spend any more time gazing but to get on with the task that Jesus needed them to carry out. Now, instead of the Gospel message being limited to one place at a time, the Holy Spirit would come to every believer and enable them to begin the task of evangelising the whole world.
- Why do you think the apostles stood gazing into the sky?
- To whom does the work of evangelisation belong today?
On this day of hope and commissioning, let us renew our commitment to be true disciples wherever we are and to be conscious of how our words and actions can awaken others to Christ.
Image – The Ascension of Christ – Thomas Silinich – 1808