The Gospel Today
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;
but stay in the city
until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
raised his hands, and blessed them.
As he blessed them he parted from them
and was taken up to heaven.
They did him homage
and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.
Reflection (Sem. Ramon C. Jamora)
One of the greatest experiences of the disciples was the Ascension of the Lord. It gave the disciples new life and hope. I feel that, because of Jesus’ appearance to the Twelve, after His Passion, Death, and Resurrection, they were empowered by God.
Today, let us share the great joy which the disciples experienced when Jesus was taken up to heaven. The disciples held on to Jesus’ promises but most of all to His Resurrection and Ascension. This great mystery made it easier for the disciples to really be committed to Jesus’ teachings and follow it.
How do we now manifest our belief and trust in Jesus? How will we share Jesus if we do not have direct encounter with Him, like that of the disciples?
At some point in our life, I believe that we have an encounter with Jesus, a very special and personal encounter with Him. In fact, reading this reflection, I believe, makes you convinced that through this short message, God will speak to you.
With the disciples, I believe that they needed to experience something extra ordinary to really be persuaded of Jesus’ true power, identity as God, and love for us, simply because God willed it to. On the other hand, we have experienced Jesus differently. Our encounters with Him now are only confirmations of what He has done during the time of the disciples.
The invitation of today’s Gospel is to hold firm to our faith in Jesus – an apostolic faith that brings us back to the experience of Jesus’ disciples with Him. The perfect way to confirm our belief is to let go and let God. We need to let go of our dreams, plans, and ambitions if we really want to follow Jesus. I do not have any other words to convince you to believe like the disciples, instead, do it – have faith, believe and trust.