May 17, 2015
1st Reading: Acts 1:1–11
2nd Reading: Eph 4:1–13 or (4: 1-7, 11-13)
Gospel: Mk 16:15–20
Jesus said, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; the one who refuses to believe will be condemned. Signs like these will accompany those who have believed: in my Name they will cast out demons and speak new languages; they will pick up snakes and, if they drink anything poisonous, they will be unharmed. They will lay their hands on the sick and they will be healed.”
So then, after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and took his place at the right hand of God. The Eleven went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied them.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Ascension Sunday invites us to focus on the two-fold meaning of Jesus’ return to heaven. The first is about Jesus’ divinity and the second is about our destiny. Divinity was what Jesus’ return to heaven was all about. Being a divine person heaven is his rightful abode. The Ascension also points to our destiny. Didn’t he say he was going ahead to heaven in order to prepare a place for us?
While the Ascension points to Jesus’ divinity we must not forget that he was also human like us. There was a happy union, so to say, of his human nature and divine nature. He was agonizing at the Garden of Gethsemane because he was human like us. But he maintained full control of his destiny because he was also divine like his Father in heaven. That is why he said, “No one takes away my life from me, I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:18). It was within his power to come down from the cross and destroy all enemies. But he freely went through his Passion like an innocent lamb led to the slaughter (Jeremiah 11:19).
Ascension also points to our destiny. By ascending to heaven Jesus revealed our supreme vocation. We are called to eternal life in God’s kingdom (Gaudium et Spes No. 22). How lofty it is to be human indeed! We should stop using our human nature as an excuse to continue wallowing in sin. To be human means to be destined for heaven.
These are the truths that the Church would like to disseminate in declaring this Sunday as World Day of Social Communications. As Jesus, before ascending to heaven, summoned his disciples to go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation, the Church would like to dispatch us to proclaim to the world that no less than a God-made-man died for us and that we are destined for heaven. The fastest means to spread this Good News is through Media.
The growth of the telecommunications industry has placed the power of media in our hands. We can send text messages, communicate through facebook, write web logs (blogs for short), and design websites. But while we acknowledge Media as the fastest way to spread the Good News, the most potent is still a life of witnessing. When we live for a noble purpose we proclaim even louder to the whole world that our Savior is God and that we are destined for heaven. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, by celebrating the Ascension of Jesus we anticipate our own destiny. Accept the gratitude we make through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. PASCHAL BAYLON was born in 1540 in the kingdom of Aragon. He spent his childhood as a shepherd but he also learned to read during that time. Eventually he was reading pious works. At the age of 24, he joined the reformed Franciscan and became a lay brother. He lived in extreme poverty and constant prayer. He died in 1592.