The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
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There were two options for readings for This Sunday’s Gospel, one for the seventh Sunday of Easter, and one for the Ascension, which is this one. The Ascension reminds me that there’s a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” There was a time for Jesus to dwell with us on earth, and there was a time for him to return to our Father in Heaven. The Ascension definitely marked the end of an era, but it also began a new one. The end of Jesus’ earthly ministry allowed his disciples to preach in his name. He gave us the Great Commission for this specific reason. The Twelve had followed Jesus so closely and became so much like him. After the Ascension, the Twelve became more active in their ministry as they baptized, healed, and forgave sins in Jesus’ name. Jesus gave his disciples the authority and mission to share the Gospel, and because we’re also his disciples, we continue this ministry. At first it might look like Jesus left us to our own devices, but he never left us alone because sent the Holy Spirit to dwell with us. The Holy Spirit gave the Twelve his gifts to make Christ known, and like he descended upon them on Pentecost, he descends on us when we’re Confirmed. Especially during times of suffering and uncertainty, we can always lean on the Holy Spirit to guide us closer to Jesus and to remind us of our mission. We can always soften our hearts to draw closer to the Lord, and walk with our neighbors to make Christ known to them.
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