Ascension of Jesus: Turning Point of the Apostles in spreading the Gospel
In the Gospel we are told that the Disciples– the simple and ordinary folks from Galilee are now sent to proclaim the Gospel. They take over the place of Jesus who just ascended into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. They will prove to the world that Jesus is the Savior of all and that it is right to follow him. Their claims will be supported by the miracles they will perform.
The First Reading also speaks of the Ascension of Jesus. He goes up into heaven after he has appeared to the believers and has made his last-minute instruction to the apostles. They will wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, and then they will go and preach. They will give witness starting in Jerusalem and then in the region of Judea and Samaria and in all corners of the world.
On the Second Reading, Paul encourages the converts in Ephesus to act as expected of Christians. They should recognize their different gifts, given by the Holy Spirit. They should show unity since they have received the same baptism that comes from the same Lord and that will bring to the same dignity, heaven.
The message of the Ascension is not that Jesus is gone, but He is still here-in his Church and in each of us, his followers. And we cannot remain passive followers of Christ. We have to be active Disciples of Christ, spreading the Gospel, communicating God’s love and mercy, contributing to the building up of the Church.