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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflections for May 28

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

May 28, 2017 —The Ascension of the Lord

Matthew 28: 16-20
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, 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. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18‑20). With these words the risen Jesus commissioned his disciples and assured them of his continuing presence.

Christ’s words, quoted above, conclude Matthew’s Gospel. His ascension into heaven is described in today’s first reading (Acts 1:1-11), which tells how Jesus was taken on a cloud to heaven. There, as he had foretold (Matthew 26:64), he is seated at God’s right hand.

It might seem strange that Jesus promised to be with his followers always, then ascended into heaven. He ascended, but he did not abandon us. The cloud (which in the Old Testament always signals God’s presence), the Ascension, and the expression, “seated at the right hand of the Father,” show that Jesus is truly God, not limited by space or time. Jesus is where God is...everywhere. He is with his Church always.

Today’s Solemnity shows Christ’s confidence that his Church would continue his work on earth. Indeed it has. And in many ways, the Church’s history resembles Christ’s life. The Church has been praised as Jesus was on Palm Sunday, and persecuted as Jesus was on the night before he died. The Church has known the sufferings of Good Friday and the glories of Easter. And Jesus will guide his Church through the ages until his work is completed.

What is true of the Church is true for us as individuals. We have our successes and failures, our Good Fridays and Easter Sundays. But the Solemnity of the Ascension promises that Jesus will be with us always. If we put our faith in him and follow him courageously, we will experience the fulfillment of another promise of this Solemnity, that Jesus has ascended into heaven to prepare a place for us.

 

 

 
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