Last Sunday-1st June-was the seventh Sunday of Easter. If anyone hasn’t wished their friends/family a happy Easter, they only have a few hours left to do it because this is the final week of Easter. Forty days since the resurrection of Christ ended last week Thursday, 29th May, which was the actual Ascension Day, but as it was a weekday, the solemnity was celebrated on Sunday.
In the Acts of the Apostles, a continuation of the Gospel according to Luke, where he-Luke- tells about the work of the apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, he starts of by writing to Theophilus:
In my first book I wrote about all the things that Jesus did and taught from the time He began His work until the day He was taken up to heaven. Before He was taken up, He gave instructions by the power of the Holy Spirit to the men He had chosen as His apostles.
Prove beyond doubt Jesus rose from the dead
For forty days after His death He appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that He was alive. They saw Him, and He talked with them about the Kingdom of God. And when they came together He gave this order, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised. John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
The ascension of Jesus
When the apostles met together with Jesus, they asked Him, “Lord, will you at this time give the kingdom back to Israel?”
Jesus told them, “The occasions and times are set by my Father’s own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be. But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After saying this, He was taken up to Heaven as they watched Him and a cloud hid Him from their sight.
They still had their eyes fixed on the sky as He went away, when two men, dressed in white suddenly stood beside them and said, “Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw Him go to heaven. (Acts 1: 1-11).
Message of hope
The ascension of Jesus is a story of hope. It fills all those who believe in Him with the hope of being reunited with Him one day. He went up to prepare a place for all those who obediently live by His teachings.
Before He went up, He instructed His disciples to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. We’re called to be evangelists, and that doesn’t mean we should all be ordained priests/church ministers. Anyone can spread the word by showing acts of love and kindness to all, whether they believe in God or not. It’s not our place to choose who deserves to be loved or not.
As we wait for Pentecost, for God’s promised gift-the Holy Spirit-to come down upon us, we should pray, asking Him to fill us with His strength, so that we can see things as He wants us to; and for His empowerment, so we can live by His commandments, loving and serving Him.