GOSPEL: Luke 24:50-58 Jesus led his disciples out to Bethany, where he raised his hands and blessed them. As he was doing this, he left and was taken up to heaven. After his disciples had worshipped him, they returned to Jerusalem and were very happy. They spent their time in the temple, praising God.
In this week’s readings we get a sense of the immense joy and confidence that Jesus imparted to his disciples before he left. In Acts 1: 8-11 Jesus tells them: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.”
In Ephesians 1:17-21 Jesus says “Brothers and sisters: My prayer is that light will flood your heart and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people”.
The joyful response of the disciples to Jesus’ ascension is a far cry from the fear with which they earlier reacted to his crucifixion. We, too, are called to face our past, our present and our future without fear, to allow God’s light to ‘flood our hearts’ and to embrace the hope that is freely given to us.