First Reading: Acts 1: 12 -14 Acts 1:1-11
Psalm Response: Psalm 27: 1,4, 7-8 Psalm 47: 2-3, 6-7, 8- 9
Second Reading: 1 Peter 4: 13 -16 Ephesians 1:17-23
Gospel: John 17: 1 -11a Matthew 28: 16-20
Back in January of 2020 I was asked to write a reflection for Sunday, May 24th. Little did I know then that we would be in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Also, I didn’t know that on that Sunday there could be two different sets of Mass readings – One would be for the feast of the Ascension the other for the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Some places in the world would be celebrating the feast of the Ascension and other places would be dwelling on the Seventh Sunday of the Easter season.
The readings for both celebrations give us precious words to reflect on – calling us to gladness “with holy joys from almighty God and making us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, at the Ascension of Christ.”
We were given what to do: “Go and teach all nations” says the Lord; “ I am with you always until the end of the world. Alleluia. Alleluia.” ( Matthew 28:19a-20b”)
Let us focus on the last line of the Gospel reading for Ascension: “And behold I am with you always until the end of the age.”
God our gracious Father, send us your Spirit to show us how to hear this message in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic — in our times—how to be with our loved ones and our brothers and sisters throughout the universe – as we journey with them and one another. Keep us mindful of loved ones who are joining Jesus in his ascension safely home.
Kate Holohan, OSF