Ponder: Is our hopelessness tied to doubting God’s promises and truth?
Pause for a few moments of silence, recite the prayers as indicated in chart below if you wish to prepare for today’s mystery. You might offer a prayer request for each decade or a Hail Mary for a specific person.
Pray: The Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension. Jesus ascends into Heaven forty days after His Resurrection. Fruit of the Mystery: Hope
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 for 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, 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.” When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. 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.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. Acts 1:1-12
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, who ascended into Heaven. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Pray for us Mary, gate of Heaven, that we may cling to and live in our hope of God’s faithfulness.Amen
Reflect: Before the Ascension, Christ was found on earth, always confined to one place; now we can find Him and encounter Him anywhere we are. After spending 40 days with his disciples, Jesus ascended body and soul into heaven. Jesus did exactly what he said he would do. He was a man of his word. By telling the apostles to convert the nations and then departing, Christ made His message clear: we are to do His work now. We have faith, even though Christ is covered in clouds. We have hope because we know all authority is His. We have love because He entrusted us with so much. Why do we ignore and doubt his words so often? Christ will return in the same way and without warning (Acts 1:11). Are we ready for His return? Imagine if he came today, would you be ready? Would you even recognize him? Do we regularly pursue holiness and participate in the sacrament of reconciliation?
Jesus has gone to a dimension that transcends and yet impinges upon our universe. And the prayer of Jesus is that the earth will be filled with the glory of God, that it will be transformed and elevated according to God’s purposes. As Jesus leaves the scene – at least in the most obvious sense – he opens the stage for us, so that we might act in His name and in accord with His spirit. It is precisely those who are focused on the things of heaven that do the most good here below. Those who pray most intently are most effective in the practical realm. This is opened by the Ascension and invitation for us to go on mission.
Act: I will spend some time today focusing on the things of heaven bringing God’s glory into my world.
Inspire with your life. Words convince the mind, but actions change the heart.