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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

FEAST OF THE ASCENSION

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Over our lives we have seen or we will see the departure of so many people, Perhaps it is a son or daughter leaving for university or maybe it was someone leaving to go to another country on the other side of the world or the hardest departure of all someone close to us dying. Our lives are made up of so many different times and places of leave-taking and that is what Ascension is really about Jesus leaving the Apostles to return to the Father. The Apostles must have felt awful as  Jesus  told them and us go therefore make disciples of all the nations and know that I am with you yes to the end of time. This Gospel reading is all about the past the present and the future. It is about ourselves in the here and now of today, and what we are doing to make disciples of all the nations in 2019 or at least making disciples of those around us perhaps our families and friends.

In this gospel reading Jesus has little to say, but he is definite about what he has to say when he speaks. This is in sharp contrast to the fact that, even at this last minute, some of his disciples still doubted. The disciples did what he told them to do. He asked them to meet him on the mountain, and they did that. Like any gathering of people, their feelings were varied. Some of them worshipped him, while some of them still doubted. Jesus didn’t seem to have any great problem with that, because he knew that, when the Spirit came, all of those doubts would be ended. It would seem, indeed, that he was in a hurry to take his leave of them, so that the second part of his plan of salvation could get underway. The mission of the apostles was simple to understand; difficult to carry out. It was to teach others all that Jesus had taught them. Just as he asked his disciples to follow him, they were to ask that others should follow him which was so hard then and especially hard in the world of today.The programme of redemption and salvation was to begin at Pentecost and continue from generation to generation, until the end of time.

So many things have changed in the Church and society       over the years especially in more recent times. However two things that have not changed are Jesus himself and every word of his message as they are ever old and always new in each generation. The message of Jesus is ignored by many people inside and outside the Church for their own reasons. The essential message of God and Jesus his Son have never changed up to now and I don’t think that the message  will ever change. Again and again we need to ask ourselves what we are doing to make disciples of all the nations realizing that Jesus and his message are always new for each generation. May we be heralds of the message of Jesus this Ascension as we go forward with faith.

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