Ascension in not just a feast that happens to fall in Eastertide: it is an integral part of the Easter mystery. Remember the Lord’s words at the Last Supper: “I am going to prepare a place for, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me.” The resurrection presumes the Lord’s return to the Father. This is therefore a feast of hope: our hope in the Lord’s return, as he went. Our hope that he will take us with him, when our bodies are raised as his was. Our hope that we will take our place in heaven, where he sits on the Father’s right.
All peoples, clap your hands, cry to God with shouts of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, we must fear, great king over all the earth. God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast. Sing praise for God, sing praise, sing praise to our king, sing praise. God is king of all the earth. Sing praise with all your skill. God is king over the nations; God reigns on his holy throne.
First Reading: Apostles 1: 1- 11
Second Reading: Ephesians 4:1-13
Gospel Reading: Mark 16: 15-20
Prayer for Vocations
Lord, Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of our souls, You who know Your sheep and know how to reach the human heart. Stir the hearts of those people who would follow You but cannot overcome doubts and fears. You who are the Word of the Father, the Word which enlightens and sustains hearts, conquer with Your Spirit the resistance and delays of indecisive hearts. Awaken in those whom You call the courage of love’s answer: “Here I am, send me.”
(Inspired by the writings of St John Paul ll)