Homily Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord Year A Go and witness

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Homily Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord Year A

Reading 1: The Ascension of our Lord in his glorified humanity to sit at the right hand of the Father is the transitional moment in the plan of salvation. It prepares for the next phase of God’s plan for us, namely the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Luke identifies first the role of the Holy Spirit in the life and ministry of Jesus himself: “giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen”. Luke identifies Jesus’ own instructions to the Apostles about the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives. He referred to the promise he gave them to send the Holy Spirit upon them. Then he identified what will happen when the Spirit came. “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit….You will receive power when he comes”. Their mission was to witness in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sending the Holy Spirit completes the work of the Son of God on earth until the end. When Jesus ascends the apostles are reminded that he will come again to judge the living and the dead. Jesus made it clear that his role was not to physically remain on earth. “I go to my Father to prepare a place for you.” But they would not be orphans. The Father will give them another Paraclete, who will remain with and in them.

Second Reading: This reading continues to focus on the role of the Holy Spirit as we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost. Here we look at some of the gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, revelation and knowledge. The specific emphasis is on the knowledge of God and the knowledge of the hope that he calls us to, namely sharing his life now and eternally. This is our inheritance.

We are reminded of God’s plan and power culminating in the resurrection of Jesus and his glorification at the right hand of the Father. It is the Spirit who enlightens us as to the depth of God’s mysterious plan for us. This includes the establishment of the Church on earth with Jesus as its head.

Gospel: What should our response to God’s plan be? Jesus commissioned the Apostles and through them we the members of the Church to go and make disciples, teaching them what Jesus has taught us. We are called to witness to others the good news of salvation which we have heard and believed.

In baptism we were anointed with the Oil of Chrism, consecrated and sealed to be disciples of Jesus, called to be holy as he is holy. In confirmation we were anointed, consecrated and sealed to be witnesses of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. How conscious are we of these two realities? How are we living out these two realities in our daily live?

There is a story about Jesus in heaven after the Ascension. There was great rejoicing in heaven by the angels and saints. Gabriel pulled Jesus aside and asked him what was his plan now that he had left the earth. Jesus said that he had chosen disciples and commissioned them to carry on his ministry in the power of the Spirit. They will pass on his message of salvation from generation to generation till the end of time. Gabriel was puzzled. He asked Jesus how could he trust his plan to weak human
beings. When they fail, what would be plan B? Jesus responded. There is no plan B, only plan A. “I am depending on them to do what I asked.”

We are plan A. There is no plan B. We have been called, chosen, redeemed, anointed, empowered and missioned in the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of Jesus, sharing the good news of salvation with others, as the Spirit leads.

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