Jesus gives the Great Commission to the Apostles and ascends to Heaven. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by pursuing the Virtue of Faith so he can always remain loyal and obedient to Christ’s Holy Catholic Church and by seeking the Gift of Counsel from the Holy Spirit so he can be guided in his efforts to draw others to Jesus Christ.
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord – Cycle A – Mt 28:16-20
Following His miraculous Resurrection and the 40 days He spent preparing His disciples for His departure, Jesus gathers the 11 remaining Apostles in Galilee; Jesus’ choice of gathering the Apostles on a mountain in Galilee symbolically reminds them of His Sermon on the Mount which summarizes His Gospel that they will now be commanded to proclaim.
Meeting Jesus as commanded, the Apostles fall to their knees in awe and worship Him; some of them, still uncertain and confused, have harbored doubts. Jesus knows their doubts and reaffirms that God the Father has given all authority in Heaven and on earth to the Son; the Apostles, steeped in Scriptures, probably realize Jesus is confirming the royal power given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14) and their doubts are lessened.
Speaking from His position of divine authority, Jesus now gives His final commandments to the Apostles, the 11 men He has hand-picked and formed as prophets, priests, and kings, to establish His Holy Catholic Church. Jesus instructs them to make disciples of “all nations”, confirming He expects the Apostles, and every man who will follow Him in the future, to evangelize every single soul in the entire world. Establishing the authority and mission of His Apostolic Catholic Church, Jesus directs the Apostles to evangelize in the n ame of the Trinity, and affirms the centrality of the Sacraments (Baptism), His teachings (the Gospel), and the essential requirement to keep “all” the commandments (the moral life). Jesus promises to be with the Apostles “always”, giving them life and allowing them to bear fruit in Him.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Reflect with reverence and fear upon the absolute Authority and unfathomable Divine Power of Jesus as He commands every Catholic man to carry out the sacred duty to live a life of holiness, and to evangelize every single person; be encouraged by His promise to always be with His Catholic men to help them.
Beg for the Faith to remain in Christ’s Holy Catholic Church
Realize: Millions of baptized Catholic men have left Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, because they doubt (doubt; CCC 2088), obstinately oppose truths of the Church (incredulity, heresy; CCC 2089), have formally renounced the faith (apostasy; CCC 2089) or are lukewarm and simply drift away into soul-killing mortal sin. Sadly, all these men have mistakenly walked away from the one sure path to peace, joy and salvation that Jesus has given men through His Holy Catholic Church.
Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s Ascension (CCC 659-667) and His One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (CCC 811-870).
Pray: Jesus, Ascended Christ, help me build the Virtue of Faith so I gratefully and vehemently accept all the truths of Your Church, I zealously practice the faith, and am protected against ever leaving Your Holy Catholic Church and losing You.
Seek Counsel from the Spirit to evangelize men
Realize: As Jesus sent the Apostles, so does He send every Catholic man out to build His kingdom at the end of every Mass; the term, “Mass” comes from the Latin words (Ite missa est) which means “to be sent”, and men are “sent” in the concluding rite of the Mass (“Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord”).
Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s final direction to men to make disciples (CCC 767-768; 849-856) to build His Catholic Church (CCC 830-838).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I am supernaturally aware of my many daily opportunities to speak to others about Jesus, and to know exactly what to say to draw the hearts and minds of men to Jesus in every situation.