Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension (Year B)

Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1:17-23; Mk 16:15-20

The Ascension of Jesus

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from MSP

2015 SOLEMNITY OF THE LORD’S ASCENSION: PROCLAIMING FAITHFULLY THE GOSPEL

Mk 16:15-20

THE DAY OF Ascension marks the culmination of the mission of Christ on earth and the event celebrates Christ’s triumphant return to the Father in heaven. It may be seen as the last act of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection; it was a day filled with joy and hope. By ascending to heaven, Christ transcended the limits of his existence here on earth. Through the Holy Spirit, he now became invisibly present everywhere to everyone.

On the part of Christ’s disciples, the day of Ascension was a day of receiving a mandate from the Lord to “go into the whole word and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Likewise they are to proclaim salvation, and “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Jesus instructed them to continue his mission of salvation.

Let us try to reflect on these instructions from the Lord: a) to go into the whole world; b) to proclaim the good news; and c) to baptize them. In all fairness, the disciples of Christ had been faithful to fulfilling the tasks entrusted to them. Indeed, they went to the different parts of the world; they incessantly proclaimed the good news; and they baptized a good number of people. The expansion of the Church from the post-apostolic times onward can be attributed to the untiring proclamation and desire of the disciples that people from all corners of the earth may be saved.

As followers of Christ, we are all called to fulfill this mandate of the Lord. The celebration of the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension can only be meaningful to us if we also listen to his instructions given to His disciples and take them as instructions for us.

First, we need to have the ability to go. True disciples of Christ must have the ability to go and the means to realize it is to get out of our own world. If we are too much concerned of our own self and our own world, there is no hope that we can go to God and to others. Like, for example, those who cannot go to Church on Sundays are those people who are selfish that they cannot give a little of their time for God. They want to remain in their house or cling to their own concerns, and therefore, do not go to God. The same is true in our relationship with our family or with our friends. There are needy family members or sick friends who need of our presence. But the question is, did we go to them?

Second, we should proclaim the good news. As baptized and “confirmed” Christians, we promised to God to proclaim the gospel to others. Literally, not all of us can do this because we have no resources and capability to go to other parts of the world. But we can have a share in the proclamation of the gospel if we become part of the work of the so-called missionaries. Like St Therese of the Child Jesus, she never went to other places to do mission, but she prayed for the missionaries. Because of that, she became the “patroness of mission.” But this does not mean that we would not literally proclaim the gospel. This is very essential of a Christian. We can do this to our family, and to our siblings. If you have done something to our family members or siblings who seem to have strayed or deviated from the Church’s teachings, that is, you have corrected the wrong-doings, then that could already be a “proclamation of the gospel” to them.

Third, the work of baptism continues. Indeed, we have been baptized, but not all of us have been faithful to fulfilling our baptismal promises. On the one hand, we promised to believe in God; and on the other, we promised to reject Satan and his works. But most of the time, we failed in fulfilling these. We have never been constant believers in God; there were times that we doubted Him. Also, often, we fall to the Satan’s allurements and fall to sin. Therefore, the baptismal promises need to be renewed often so that we can have the fullness of salvation promised to us.

Source: msp.org.ph/homilies.do?id=20309

2018 SOLEMNITY OF THE LORD’S ASCENSION

Mk 16:15-20
THE DAY OF the Lord’s Ascension marks the culmination of the mission of Christ on earth and the event celebrates Christ’s triumphant return to the Father in heaven. It may be seen as the last act of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. By ascending to heaven, Christ transcended the limits of his existence here on earth. Through the Holy Spirit, he now becomes invisibly present everywhere to everyone.

On the part of Christ’s disciples, the day of Ascension was a day of receiving a mandate from the Lord to “go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Likewise, they are to proclaim salvation, and “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Jesus instructed them to continue his mission of salvation.

Let us try to reflect on these instructions from the Lord. As followers of Christ, we are all called to fulfill this mandate of the Lord. We can also find meaning in the celebration of the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension by reflecting on His words of instruction and farewell.

Firstly, Christ instructs, “Go into the whole world.” This means that we need to have the ability to go. This is true to the present-day missionaries. They continue to go to other places or countries as part of their missionary calling. But ordinary Christian believers, they can have also the same dynamics. I mean, even in our small community, we are called to be “on the move.” One example is going to the Church for the celebration of the holy Mass. Another example, is visiting our friends or relatives who need our presence and care. Doing these things is an act of “going”.

Secondly, Jesus instructs, “Proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Again, this is the primary work of the present-day missionaries. But ordinary Christian believers can have also a share in the proclamation of the gospel. Like St Therese of the Child Jesus, she never went to other places to do mission, but she prayed for the missionaries. Because of that, she became the “patroness of mission.” But this does not mean that we would not literally proclaim the gospel. This is very essential of the life of a Christian. In your small way, you can also proclaim the gospel in your respective families. You can also bring the words and teachings of Jesus to your respective families.

Thirdly, Jesus says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Thus, the third instruction of Jesus is, “Baptize them!”. What Jesus tells us is that baptism is a key to salvation, or the beginning of salvation. I would say that the churches in the Philippines are still lucky because almost every Sunday, the sacrament of baptism has been administered. That means that the number of Catholic believers continues to grow. Parents value the sacrament and they find it important to the faith-life of the child. Again, baptism is a requirement and the beginning of the person’s journey of salvation.

Presently, the Lord Jesus is in heaven. The Scriptures frequently picture Him at the right hand of the Father, a position of honor and authority. The return of Christ to the Father gives us a foretaste of divine life here on earth. What happened to Jesus is something that we also hope for: that one day we will be and share in the kingdom of the Father. AMEN.

Source: msp.org.ph/homilies.do?id=25417

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