Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
The disciples preached everywhere. The simple folks from Galilee are now sent to proclaim the Gospel. They take over the place of Jesus who has just ascended into heaven.
The Ascension of Jesus is described in just one verse in the Gospel (cf v 19). But it is the turning point for the Apostles to finally work to spread the teachings of Christ. They will prove to the world that Jesus is the Savior of all and that it is right to follow him. Their claims will be supported by the miracles they will perform.
The First Reading also speaks of the Ascension of Jesus. He goes up to heaven after he has appeared to the believers and has made his last-minute instructions to the apostles. They will wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, and then they will go and preach. They will give witness starting in Jerusalem and then in the regions of Judea and Samaria and in all corners of the world.
In the Second Reading, Paul encourages the converts in Ephesus to act as expected of Christians. They must be humble, gentle, and patient with one another. They should recognize their different gifts, given by the Holy Spirit. They should show unity since they have received the same baptism that comes from the same Lord and that will bring to the same destiny, heaven.
We cannot remain maverick followers of Christ. We have to be active parishioners, spreading the Gospel, communicating God’s love and mercy, and contributing to the building up of the Church.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.