In today’s gospel the risen Christ ascends into heaven and his followers are assured that the Spirit will empower them to be witnesses throughout the earth. The disciples were told to not gaze up into heaven to look for Jesus; we find his presence among us as we proclaim the word and share the Easter feast. We too long for the Spirit to enliven our faith and invigorate our mission.
Readings and Psalms
First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Psalm: Psalm 47
shout to God with a | joyful sound.
2For the Lord Most High is | to be feared:
a great king over | all the earth,
3who subdues the | peoples under us,
and the nations un- | der our feet;
4who chooses our inheri- | tance for us,
the pride of Jacob, | whom God loves.
5God has gone up | with a shout,
the Lord with the sound | of the ram’s horn.
6Sing praises to | God, sing praises;
sing praises to our | king, sing praises.
7For God is king of | all the earth;
sing praises | with a song.
8God reigns o- | ver the nations;
God is en- | throned on high.
9The nobles of the peoples have gathered as the people of the | God of Abraham.
The rulers of the earth belong to God, who is high- | ly exalted.
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23
Gospel: Luke 24:44-53
50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.