Livonia, Michigan

Seventh Sunday of Easter

By the Faithful Disciple

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord


It’s easy for me to get impatient with the Lord – to wonder why he makes me wait for an answer to a prayer or, worse, why his answer may be no. However, when I look back at the lessons of the Bible, it becomes clear that God works on his timetable, not mine. That same message comes through in today’s first reading. The apostles ask Jesus whether he will be restoring the kingdom to Israel, and he is clear in his answer: “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.” And then, after saying this, he ascends to the Father. Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus has left his disciples again.  But instead of leaving them to weep and mourn – as happened after his death – this time, our Lord left them with a mission. They were to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” They did, faithfully, and they traveled far and wide. Armed with the gift of the Holy Spirit which they received at Pentecost, they baptized countless people as they shared the Good News about Jesus and his gift of salvation.


After Jesus gives the disciples the command to go out and preach the Gospel, he says that “whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” He offers salvation for those who believe in him. And he says that the disciples, and us, will be his witnesses in the world. Sacred tradition tells us that Andrew and Philip preached in Asia Minor while Bartholomew and Thomas spent time in India. Others are said to have gone to Palestine, Persia, and Ethiopia. All died a martyr’s death – except John who had been entrusted with the care of our Blessed Mother. We are his witnesses today, and we are also commissioned to go into the world and proclaim the Gospel. Today, as we celebrate his ascension into heaven, let us allow ourselves a moment to gaze upward and behold Jesus’ power and glory. Let the Ascension renew our commitment to do the work he has asked us to do and remind us of his presence here with us in all that we do.


We know the mission Jesus has given us and we know we have the Holy Spirit to help us carry it out. For prayer this week, meditate on Paul’s words to the Ephesians and ask the Lord for “a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of [our] hearts be enlightened, that [we] may know what is the hope that belongs to his call.”