Reflection for the week of May 12, 2024 Ascension Sunday

by Carol Craven

First Reading:  Acts 1:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm:47: 2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: Ephesians 4:1-13
Gospel: Mark 16:15-20

Today’s readings are filled with Jesus’ teaching: ways of being, instructions about the time after the Ascension, and the receipt of the gifts of the Spirit,

I stand with the apostles looking heavenward. We watch as Jesus ascends into a cloud and disappears! Then, two men in white appear and ask, “Why are you looking up?” I am filled with curiosity and confusion. What is the meaning of all of this? What is the next step? And so, we gather as Jesus asked, and wait for the coming of the Spiritt.

I ponder with the apostles: How are we going to teach all nations? How is this Holy Spirit going to assist us in fulfilling the tasks Jesus requires of us? Challenging questions. I am reminded that we will receive a spirit of wisdom and revitalization. Also, that Jesus will always be with us in love. And I wait with the apostles knowing that the gifts of the Spirit will empower each of us to live the mission of Jesus.  By growing our unique individual gifts as teachers, doctors, fishermen, we will be empowered to become change agents.  We will act from a place of love.

Today, each of us can write the gospel message to the world by our actions, our words, our compassion, our love. We receive the gifts of the Spirit to accomplish the work that is required of us. We live lives of compassion, service, and prayer.  Our gifts may be the awareness of the need to give voice to the voiceless, help for the homeless, food for the hungry, running errands for the homebound, caring for the sick, visiting the lonely, praying for others. We continue to learn, act, and discern the will of God in our daily lives. We each have the gifts of the Spirit that will enable us to do our part in creating the Kingdom of God!

 Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful, enkindle in us the power of your love!