Sunday, June 1, 2014

Homily for the Ascension of the Lord

Homily for the
Ascension of the Lord
May 29, 2014
Acts 1: 1-11
Eph 1: 17-23
Matt 28: 16-20
Christian Bros., Iona College

Jesus ascends to heaven to join the Father in sending the Spirit (Acts 1:4-5).

The apostles, however, are still concerned about the restoration of the kingdom of Israel (1:6).  Jesus is not restoring that kingdom but expanding the Father’s kingdom “to the ends of the earth” (1:8), to include everyone.

The Ascension, by Gustave Dore'
The “men of Galilee” are chided for “standing” around “looking to heaven” (1:11).  They have work to do:  “making disciples in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe Jesus’ commandments” (cf. Matt 28:19-20).

Jesus is gone physically, but he is with us thru his Holy Spirit, making of us, his Church, his body (Eph 1:22-23), filled with his power (Matt 28:18) to save humanity by sharing “the riches of glory in his inheritance” (Eph 1:18).

The ascension is a sign of our goal, which the Collect pointed out:  “where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope.”  And it is a challenge to us to carry out a mission, to make disciples to the ends of the earth.

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