Today we celebrate Jesus going back to heaven after his sojourn here on earth. We will hear from two books of the New Testament. The first is Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11. The second is the Gospel reading from Luke 24:46-53. The two readings today tell about Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Both these books are written by Luke the evangelist. The readings today are very similar. The reading from Acts is a little meatier than the Gospel. No one is really sure why Luke wrote this way. Perhaps he wanted to emphasize the fact that the Apostles would be the ones to bring the message of Jesus to the world.
Notice in the first reading the Apostles are still confused as to what Jesus’ mission was on this earth. “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus admonishes them by telling them it’s not time for them to know. The time things will happen is for the Father to decide. He soothes their fears by telling them they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to them.
As Jesus was ascending into heaven, the apostles were standing looking at him. Then two men dressed in white stood by them and said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” They tell the apostles, “he will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven!”
Very simply this means that Jesus will be with them and is with us. We may not be able to reach out and touch him the way the apostles did when he was on earth. But Jesus is not leaving them or us alone! He is with us through the Holy Spirit and all of our brothers and sisters. May we learn to recognize him in our daily lives.
Peace and All Good!