WITH ST. MARY'S
THE SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION
The Ascension is not the end of Christ's mission. It is only the beginning.
THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD
The end of Christ’s mission on earth is placed under the responsibility of his Apostles to go out and spread the Gospel. It would seem that the world would be more readily accepting of Christ if he revealed himself in all of his glory to the entire world, or if he had simply stayed with us. But his place was not on earth; he simply came to earth to instruct us on how to return to God, whose rightful place is enthroned in Heaven. Christ showed us exactly how and why we must worship God. Now, it is our responsibility to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles and their successors to spread the Gospel throughout the world.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
At Christ’s Ascension, there was literally nothing more that the Apostles could have learned or experienced directly from Christ. With a final blessing, Christ goes off to his place in Heaven and instructs his Apostles to preach in his name to all nations…but not yet. This is a bit confusing: if Jesus has completed his instruction, fulfilled his promise, resurrected from the dead, and strengthened his followers to carry on his message, what more could they possibly need? It simply wasn’t enough to know Christ and to know his message. It was absolutely crucial for the Apostles to receive the Holy Spirit before beginning their own public ministries. Not enough emphasis seems to be placed on this detail. As we end the Easter season this week, we should focus on what comes next. It’s a wonderful thing to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, but the feast of the Ascension is a reminder that we are soon called to embark on our own missions to be evangelists for Christ to the world. This week, between celebrating Christ’s glorious ascension into Heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, we should model ourselves after the words of Christ in today’s Gospel: Stay put until we are clothed with power from on high. Don’t go out into the world preaching what Christ preached before you are ready. The Spirit must be our guide and the author of any and all works of ours that glorify God
Family activity to do at home: Over a period of thousands of years, the Catholic Church has developed customs and traditions around our most holy feast days as a celebration of our faith in the context of our culture. Many of our traditions which were once so common have fallen out of practice now that fewer and fewer people identify as Christian or Catholic. It’s a wonderful thing to bring these traditions back, especially within your household. Traditions like these are what children will value most when they grow older. Read about some of these old traditions for the feast of the Ascension by following this activity, and consider reviving them in your own home.