John 15:9-17 This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
May 8, 2021
John 20:19-23 “Receive the Holy Spirit” The Holy Spirit is also symbolized by Breath of Life as also symbolized by the power of the forgiveness of sins.
May 22, 2021

Mark 16: 15-20 Ascension Sunday

Ascension Sunday
Acts 1:1-11
Ephesians 4:1-17, 11-13
Mark 16: 15-20

A. Text/Context
• Here in the gospel of Mark the details of the Ascension of our Lord is described with just a few words: after he spoke to them he was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God
• It is not very much elaborated in the gospel today
• But what is not mentioned in the gospel is very clear in the 1st reading in the Acts of the apostles
• It was a spectacle to behold that in a mountain in Galilee and in front of his disciples Jesus is lifted up by a cloud high up into the sky
• And after that 2 men dressed in white garments whom we now understand as angels appeared to them telling them that the same Jesus who is lifted up into heaven will also return in glory in the same way
• During the past few weeks the gospel readings are all focused on the last farewell of Jesus to his disciples
• Jesus spent a lot of time discussing to them and psychologically preparing them to be strong so that when the time comes that he will be gone they would not feel that they have become orphans and left alone
• So the reason that Jesus is giving all the reminders, mga habilin, mga huling paalam is because he will go back to the Father in heaven in what we call as the Ascension
• And finally true enough, in the gospel today, Jesus departed from them and was taken up into heaven in this memorial of the feast of the Ascension that we celebrate today
• Jesus ascended into heaven because his mission of salvation for all humanity is finished
• Jesus goes back to where he comes from, to the bosom of his Father in heaven
• So the disciples are left behind but Jesus did not leave them behind like real orphans who cannot take care of themselves anymore
• Instead, Jesus gave to his disciples all the powers of heaven and earth that God has given him
• Jesus gives them all the authority and the power and told them to go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature
• And whoever believes in the proclamation of the disciples they will be saved, whoever does not believe they will be condemned
• Such a strong message of departure left by Jesus to all of us
• And then he soared high into the heavens as he ascended back to the Father

B. Human Situation
• Now, in our lives as Christians, what better reflection can we deduce from the readings about the Ascension of Jesus into heaven?
• Jesus has already finished his mission to save all humanity from the quagmire of sin and death
• Jesus has already gone back to the Father more than 2000 years ago
• And we now ask the crucial question: why is it that the world is not getting any better at all
• Why is it that pain, suffering, wars and rumors of wars, human destruction, natural calamities are still here when Jesus must have already eradicated all of them
• The answer lies in the gospel: whoever believes in the proclamation of the disciples they will be saved, whoever does not believe they will be condemned
• When somebody wants to give and be charitable, there is also another who wants to hoard and be greedy
• The one who believes will try to follow what Jesus has taught, the one who does not believe will simply ignore it
• And that is the reason why is it that peace has become so elusive and difficult to attain
• Because if one wishes to make peace, the other would only loathe for war and destruction
• That is it my brothers and sisters. It has to be a collaborative and unified effort in order that the ones who believe will succeed
• You see, if everybody believes in charity we do not even need an orphanage for the children because they will be afforded the best in housing, food and medical care because there are many people who are willing to assist
• But the reality is that not everybody believes in the nobility of the teaching of Jesus to love one another
• A lot of our brethren still, are not yet converted others are still in the process of conversion
• When everybody has become a total Christian that is already the time that the reign of God has come to its fullness
• What happened to the disciples is that they have full of hope that many good things will happen even if Jesus is already gone
• And true enough, it was during the early days of the Church that Christianity has multiplied by leaps and bounds. Thousands are converted to Christianity everyday
• As Christians we must never relent or stop or get discouraged in our projects, in our many good plans in our life because Jesus has empowered us to do great things in his name. He promised that he will be with us until the end of time

C. Challenge
• This is the challenge of the message of the Ascension. If Jesus soared to the heavens going back to the Father, it does not mean that he is already absent
• We are even more empowered because the gospel told us that the disciples were given the awesome and enormous power to do great things
• While there are so many bad things happening in the world especially this global virus, there are also many good things occurring in packets of miracles
• We also aspire to attain a high level of awareness and knowledge and we live in the HOPE that Jesus is always with us until the end of time and he will assist us even in the most difficult project that we embark. If there is no more hope we will be disillusioned because all things that we do are meaningless
• We would still continue to value hope inspite of all the trials and we will discover the dignity and the integrity of ourselves as human beings knowing that God will never abandon us
• So today, let us remember the promise that Jesus made to his disciples in the Ascension and let us make use of the authority that he has empowered upon us and we can do many things that we never even imagine to succeed

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Mark 16 verse 15-20

Mark 16 verse 15-20

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