Sunday, June 1, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, June 1, 2014 with Reflection

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

1ST READING - Acts 1:1-11
In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. 10 While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
P S A L M - Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
R: God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
1 [2] All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, 2 [3] for the Lord, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth. (R) God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the Lord, amid trumpet blasts. 6 [7] Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise. (R) 7 [8] For the king of all the earth is God; sing hymns of praise. 8 [9] God reigns over the nations, God sits upon his holy throne. (R)
2ND READING - Ephesians 1:17-23
17 Brothers and sisters: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. 18 May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might,20 which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, 21 far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world.
Matthew 28:16-20
16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped, but they doubted. 18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”


We now come to the final act of the Great Easter event where Jesus returns to His Father. For 40 days, He has revealed Himself to the disciples and now is going away from their sight. They will no longer see Him physically, but He will be present in other ways. And so the final words spoken to His disciples are an act of entrustment to carry on the work in His power and authority. The instructions are simple: “Go!” Go and make disciples of all nations. “Just do it!” as the popular sports apparel company says.

       Where do we go? We go to our families, to our workplaces, to our schools and places of recreation. We go everywhere and anywhere to make disciples of all nations. We first heard this instruction at our baptism, but perhaps we were sleeping. Since then, we have been entrusted with the duty to make disciples of all nations. And without knowing it, even from our infancy, we have been making disciples. We may not have said many words but through our lives we have spoken to many, loud and clear.

       We may not see Jesus with our eyes as the disciples did, but we have the assurance that Jesus is with us. He does not leave us orphans. In fact, only a few days from now, we will celebrate the promised gift of the Father — the Holy Spirit who empowers us to go and make disciples.

       Take note of the disciples’ reaction when they met Jesus at the designated point of departure. They worshipped but they doubted. Sounds familiar?

       We also are caught up in the mystery of Christ. We worship Him; we desire to grow in the Lord and His ways. We attend the Eucharistic celebration; we attend faith seminars and conferences to boost our eagerness to serve the Lord. We worship, but we also doubt that the Lord will really work through us. Perhaps we doubt if He has enough time to bless our efforts. Perhaps we doubt if He will use us to proclaim His message. We doubt. And Jesus reassuringly tells us, “I am with you always... Stop your doubting and believe.”

       So what are you waiting for? Go! Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: To whom is the Lord Jesus sending you to make a disciple? Do you feel Him inspiring you to go and talk to someone? Listen well, and then act.
Lord, I thank You for the power and authority You have entrusted to me. I have heard Your call to go and make disciples. Lord, show me the way and remove all my doubts.

St. Justin, martyr, pray for us.

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