Weekly Scripture

Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for
May 24, 2020

The Ascension of the Lord

Today, we celebrate the great feast of the Ascension of our Lord, that glorious moment when Jesus, 40 days after His resurrection, was lifted up — quite literally— into heaven, as the apostles watched in stunned amazement. It is recounted in both our first reading, from Acts, as well as the Gospel passage, from Matthew. It must have been an extraordinary thing to witness.

But the first reading tells us that the apostles were not permitted to simply bask in the moment for very long. “While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?’”

In other words, “Don’t just stand there, do something!”

This verse is a call to each one of us Christian stewards this very day. We have been given every grace and blessing through the Mass and all of the sacraments, through the Word of God, the rich teachings of our faith, and even our talents and our material possessions.

And like those first apostles, we are not meant to just stand here, but to do something with these gifts — in love and gratitude to the One Who gave them to us. We are called, just as much as the first apostles “to be [His] witnesses… to the ends of the earth,” not with our own power, but through the power of the Holy Spirit in us.