Monday, May 18, 2020

Ascension Sunday- "Go and make disciples!"

Ascension Sunday (Español) 

The commentary for this week is provided by Deacon Mark Silvia of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the Diocese of San Diego. For an online view, visit:


Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope. Amen 


1st Reading: Acts 1:1-11 

The sight of the Lord Jesus ascending into the cloud could only have been described as awesome to behold. If we had been there, I suppose we would have stood in silent awe as well. The disciples may have remained awestruck and staring into the sky for hours if the two angelic figures had not interrupted this moment. 

They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” 

There is a mission to begin and an urgency to begin it at once. 

It may seem strange that the Mass ends so abruptly. The Eucharistic celebration is awesome to behold for those who believe that the consecrated bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Jesus. After receiving Him, we may want to remain together in awesome wonder. But, almost as soon as we receive the Eucharist, we are dismissed from Mass and we are sent into the world on a mission. The dismissal that best demonstrates this is “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” 


Have you felt the awesome wonder?

2nd Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23 

St. Paul writes to the Church in Ephesus; May the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, enlighten the eyes of our heart, that we may see how great is the hope to which we are called. 

St. Paul explains that the Great Hope to which we are called is the one who sits at the right of the Father. The one who is far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named. The Father has placed all things beneath His feet. Christ sits as the head of Church, which is his body. 

Those who believe know the Great Hope that awaits us. He is the one who created us, who loves and nurtures us, who forgives and heals us, and who prepares a place for us in His Father’s house. There is no greater love than this or greater cause for our joy. 


What does it mean to you that we have such a Great Hope? 

How were the eyes of your heart were enlightened to see the Great Hope to which we are called?

Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20 

When the eleven disciples saw Him, they worshiped, but they doubted. We may wonder why they would doubt after all they had seen and heard in Jesus’ presence. And yet, regardless of any doubt they may have had, Jesus commissioned this small group to, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” 

Just as at the moment of creation, God again sent out his Word and it quickly runs his command. The Word spreads from a small group of disciples to all the world. “Their voice has gone out to the limits of the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” 

If the canon of the bible had continued to grow, it would contain all the stories of the Church including all the popes and saints from the time of this great commissioning to today. It would contain the names of each and every person baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

How could such a great Church have sprung from a small group of doubters? Because, as He promised, Jesus is with us, and will be with us, always, until the end of the ages. 


Recalling the richness of the Church’s history, what does it mean to you that Jesus will be with us, always, until the end of the ages? 

This Week's Task

Take time to read something about our Church history. A good on-line source is New Advent.


The leader invites the group to pray the following words together. 

God our Father, the heavens proclaim your glory. Day unto day takes up the story, and night unto night makes known the message. Your Word extends through all the earth, to the utmost bounds of the world. We praise and thank you for the gift of your Son who promises to be with us always until the end of the ages. In your great love and mercy, guide us always and protect our ways. Keep us free from sin and error. Make us messengers of the Great Hope to which we are called. Amen. 


Response: God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord. 

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth, sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise. 

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord. 

God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise. 

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord. 

For king of all the earth is God; sing hymns of praise. God reigns over the nations, God sits upon his holy throne. 

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord. 

Conclude with an Our Father

For a PDF of this commentary, visit Christ in Our Neighborhood website.

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