Jesus commands the Apostles to evangelize the world and ascends to Heaven. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Faith so he can always be awed by the Ascended Christ’s Presence in the Mass 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. 

Liturgy

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord – Cycle B – Mk 16:15-20

Commentary

Following their mysterious encounter with the disguised Jesus on the road to Emmaus, and witnessing when He reveals Himself to them in the Eucharist, Cleopas (perhaps, the brother of St. Joseph; Jesus’ uncle) and another disciple (Cleopas’ wife, Mary – Jn 19:2) rush 7 miles back to Jerusalem in the dark of night to tell the Eleven Apostles in the Upper Room. The Apostles refuse to believe and later, Jesus 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. 

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

Jesus then promises that extraordinary gifts will be given to some disciples through the Holy Spirit, and that the proof of these gifts will be their ability to cast out demons, speak in new tongues, etc.; this spectacular promise by Jesus comes to pass shortly afterwards (Acts 2:1-13, 1 Cor 12:1-12). After instructing the Apostles, Jesus ascends to the right hand of God the Father, and the Apostles, allowing Jesus to work through them, preach “everywhere” and perform great and wondrous signs which draw thousands upon thousands to the Early Holy Catholic Church.

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. 

Be awed by the Ascended Christ’s Presence in the Mass

Realize: Many Catholic men complain they “don’t get anything” out of the Mass, or that the Mass “is boring”; this is a sad admission of a Catholic man’s fundamental ignorance about the reality of the Ascended Christ’s actual Presence in the Mass and the blessings He is prepared to give receptive men. One concrete way to more fruitfully engage in the Mass is to reflect deeply upon the marvelous beliefs in Catholics profess in the Creed during Mass, for example, the belief about Christ’s Ascension.  

Believe: Review the astounding belief Catholics profess in the Creed about Christ’s Ascension (659-667).

Pray: Jesus, Ascended Lord, help me build the Virtue of Faith so I am filled with awe at the reality of Your Glorious Ascension, Your position of infinite glory and honor at the right hand of the Father, Your infinite and eternal power over men, and the glorious and supernatural reality of Your Presence in every Mass.

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 set) 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 (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.