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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Feast of Ascension Gives Joy

I was praying over the Gospel for the Ascension yesterday and was struck by the fact that the Apostles stood there with joy rather than sadness. They did not understand but were filled with joy because Jesus had blessed them and told them that the Holy Spirit would come. Jesus tells them that they are to remain in the city and the Gospel tells us that they were praising God in the temple. Joy leads to praise!

Luke's Gospel is worth reflecting on:
I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.'
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

What just struck me in the above translation is the fact that they "worshipped" Jesus. In Acts, Luke tells us that they stood there looking up even as Jesus was taken up into the clouds. What an experience that must have been for them! But they returned with great joy. They rejoiced because Jesus was going to his Father.

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