Working with the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrases: went to Galilee, Jesus had ordered them, Go, all nations, until the end of the age

To the point: On the morning of his resurrection, nearing the end of his earthly life, Jesus orders the disciples back to Galilee where he had inaugurated his saving mission. The disciples are to begin where Jesus did, doing what Jesus did, but without geographical or temporal limits: their mission is to “all nations” and continues “until the end of the age.” In effect, then, Jesus com- missions not only those first disciples but all those through the ages who come to know and believe in him. Jesus chooses to complete his work of salvation through us. We must choose to take up his Great Commission.

Connecting the Gospel …

… to First Reading: Jesus makes clear in his words to his disciples before the ascension that, far from abandoning them, he will send the Holy Spirit to empower them to be witnesses to his saving work.

… to experience: We mistakenly think that the ascension pertains only to Jesus. The liturgy communicates the ascension’s significance for us: “he ascended, not to distance himself from our lowly state but that we, his members, might be confident of following where he, our Head and Founder, has gone before” (Preface I of the Ascension of the Lord).

 

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson