14 May – Solemnity of The Ascension of The Lord
In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. When he had been at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is’ he had said ‘what you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth.’
As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers. This you can tell from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.
Jesus showed himself to the Eleven, and said to them: ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’
And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you
Affirmed with the words of Jesus in the Gospel that we would not get harmed, there are stories of Saints going unharmed. For instance, the viper bit Saint Paul’s hand, and he shook it off to the fire that consumed the snake. Yet he remained unharmed as if nothing happened. Saint Denis of Paris had his head cut off yet he continued to preach even with his severed head as if nothing happened. There are stories of martyrs dying as the strong faith defenders. Yet all those wonderful saints manifested the same power of Holy Spirit as Jesus stated in the first reading.
What is this exact power of the Holy Spirit? It is the grace of God that enables you to convince the others of the authentication of the faith and presence of God. In other words, it strengthens your confidence and relationship with God by convincing you of the divine interventions in your lives. In times of trials, people will see the power of God that had transformed and eventually touched you. You are simply the sign of God as you are conformed by the enlightenment and presence of God within you, according to Saint Paul in the second reading. Do not be afraid but go out and show the light of Christ to the world. People, who are attracted to Christ, will come to you according to God’s Will. If you are so sure of going to Heaven in the end, why are you afraid now?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Michael Goo)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we sincerely pray for outpouring of Holy Spirit again so that we can be your instrument of peace, love and faith to the world, because we believe that You will transform the others through our encounters with them. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Glory be to the Father, to the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.