Ascension of the Lord, Cycle C

After a period of forty days, commemorated by the 40 days of the Easter season, the Risen Lord ascends into Heaven today and invites his disciples to look toward the future and to look toward the mission he has entrusted to them. He’s promised to send them the Holy Spirit in order to help them fulfill their mission, and now we too begin our wait for Pentecost after living the joy of the Risen Lord during the Easter season.

We rejoice because those disciples, asked to be witnesses to the “ends of the earth” reached our end of the earth too. Our Lord has taken his place at the right hand of the Father and even now watches over us from Heaven and intercedes for us as we continue the disciples’ mission to give witness to him to the ends of the earth. We too must preach with joy, as the Lord commands in today’s Gospel, repentance for the forgiveness of sins in Christ’s name. For the disciples it started in Jerusalem; for us it starts in our homes, our schools, our society, and there are still many people who’ve not heard our testimony or the testimony of any other believer.

The ten day’s wait for Pentecost has begun. Let’s pray in these days to see where we should give witness so that on Pentecost Sunday we too are “clothed” with the power we need to extend the Gospel with joy to the ends of the earth.

Readings: Acts 1:1–11; Psalm 47:2–3, 6–9; Ephesians 1:17–23; Luke 24:46–53. See also Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.