The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for the Ascension of the Lord – Cycle B is Mark 15-20.

Following their mysterious encounter with Christ on the road to Emmaus and revealing Himself in the Eucharist, Cleopas (the brother of St. Joseph; Jesus’ uncle) and another disciple (likely his wife, Mary – John 19:2) rush 7 miles to Jerusalem in the dark of night to tell the Eleven Apostles in the Upper Room. The Apostles refuse to believe and later, Christ suddenly appears in the Upper Room and “upbraided (Greek: oneidizó, meaning, a harsh, angry rebuke that brings disgrace) them for their unbelief and hardness of heart” for their disbelief (Omitted from today’s Liturgy – Mark 16:14).

After rebuking the Apostles for their unbelief, Christ assures them of His mercy by commissioning them to preach the Gospel to “all the world…the whole Creation.” Christ confirms the absolute requirement of belief for all converts and that those who refuse or fail to believe in Christ’s Gospel are condemned.

Christ then promises that extraordinary gifts will be given to some disciples through the Holy Spirit (signs of casting out demons, speaking in new tongues, etc.) and His promise comes to pass shortly afterwards (Acts 2:1-13, 1 Cor 12:1-12). After instructing the Apostles, Christ ascends to the right hand of the Father and the Apostles, allowing Christ to work through them, preach “everywhere” and perform great and wondrous signs.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God and Son of Man, Christ is resurrected and glorified and has complete dominion over all Creation; He ascends to Heaven. Person of the Trinity, Christ speaks with the authority of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Divine Prophet, Christ fulfills His own prophecies of His Death, Resurrection, Ascension and the establishment of a worldwide Church. As Divine King, Christ sends His Apostles (literally, “those sent”) to evangelize the world.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Reflect upon the unfathomable power that Christ as He sits at the right Hand of the Father.

2) It is common for the mind to wander during Mass, failing to realize the astounding things we repeat in the Creed. Review the astounding belief of Christ’s Ascension (659-667) and pray for Christ to fill you with awe at His glory, honor and power.

3) As Christ sent the Apostles, so too is every man sent out to build Christ’s kingdom at every Mass; the term, “Mass” comes from the Latin words (Ite missa set) spoken at the end of Mass which mean “to be sent”. During Easter, reflect upon Christ’s final direction to men to “make disciples” (CCC 767-768; 849-856) and pray for Christ to strengthen and guide you do do His will.