Gospel Reflection for Ascension Sunday Year A – June 1st 2014
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said,
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations;
baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.
And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’
I asked a lady once if Johnny was in the house. She pointed at a chair and said ‘if he was here he would be there.’ He never moved far! Jesus – he is here and there. The risen lord has moved on. But not fully so that he has left us. Even though he has gone in a certain way, he is still among us. His Spirit dwelling in us.
The one who came to earth has now gone back to heaven, bringing with him all that is human. We will never see him in the skies…his body now is the church and that’s us – the man of heaven and the God of earth.
We are Christ’s
Before we are any denomination or group, we are Christ’s. We are baptised into the church of Christ; we live out our faith in different denominations, unfortunately. Today is the feast of the whole church – we begin in him and end in him. The renewal of our faith comes through living with Jesus, partners in our mission. And in reading and praying the gospel each day.
On earth we are his body. His life embodies the good and the evil – we note the two Thursdays – holy Thursday the day he suffered, he was the servant, the one who gave himself for all time. Ascension used be on a Thursday – the other Thursday of joy. Icons have Jesus smiling as he reaches heaven. Encouraging the good and overcoming the evils and sin of society and of each of us.
The icon – the smiling Christ in heaven. Smiling on us and living through us. We prepare for the way he is with us now next Sunday – the Spirit. Where the qualities of the Spirit are alive, he is alive and well among us.
Donal Neary SJ