Friday after the Ascension of our Lord
Scripture: St. Luke 24:50-53 (NKJV)
24:50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.
The disciples who had once remained hidden for fear of the Jews now do not hesitate to worship the Christ in the midst of the temple. Not long before, as we were again reminded in the Gospel readings for Jubilate and Cantate, there was dread among the disciples when they heard that Jesus would be departing from them. They mourned during the days when Jesus lay in the tomb, but His ascension to the right hand of God caused them to return to Jerusalem with great joy. The apostles—sent to proclaim the death and resurrection of the Christ—would not fear persecution or death as they were preaching the Word of the Lord. They knew that the Christ is very God of very God, and thus they worshiped Him. There is no terror at the Lord’s ascension, nor any dread that He was now somehow far distant from His Church. Instructed by the Lord, and strengthened in their faith through the Word, they returned to their vocation, and awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
We pray: O God, from whom all good things do come, grant to us, Thy humble servants, that by Thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be right and by Thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.