“As they were looking on, he was lifted up. ”
The beginning of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:1-11)
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me, for John baptised with water, but before many days you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 47:2-3.6-7.8-9 (R. 6)
R/. God has gone up with shouts of joy.
The Lord goes up with trumpet blast.
All peoples, clap your hands.
Cry to God with shouts of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome,
the great king over all the earth. R.
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! R.
God is king of all the earth.
Sing praise with all your skill.
God reigns over the nations.
God sits upon his holy throne. R.
“The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:1-13)
*Brethren: I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to walk in a manner worthy for the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all the and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.*
Therefore, it is said, “When he ascended on high the led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (In saying, “He ascended.” What does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended for above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
*And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
The word of the Lord*
Shorter form: Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13. Read between*
ALLELUIA Matthew 28:19a, 20b
Alleluia. Go and make disciples of all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, to the close of the age. Alleluia.
“He was taken up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark
At that time: (Jesus appearing to the Eleven) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the sign that attended it. Amen.
The Gospel of the Lord
Forty days after His glorious resurrection from the dead, the Lord Jesus, conqueror of sin and death, ascended to heaven in triumph. On this solemnity the Church commemorates the first and irreversible entry of humanity into divine glory, when Jesus takes His human nature, which is inseparable from His divine nature, into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. “Jesus ascends not to distance Himself from us, but to draw us to Himself. He is the first fruit from the dead and the only way to heaven. This reality illustrates the fact that we who have truly followed Christ and live by His standards will enter into the beatific vision with glorified bodies at the final resurrection. May Jesus, who has gone to prepare a place for us, send us power from on high!