May 21, 2023
First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
1 In the first book, O The-oph’ilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. 4 And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me, 5 for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Psalm: 47:2-3, 6-9
1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! 2 For the LORD, the Most High, is terrible, a great king over all the earth. 5 God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 7 For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! 8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; 22 and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all.
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
Reflection of the Day: “And so, while at Easter it was the Lord’s Resurrection which was the cause of our joy, our present rejoicing is due to His Ascension into Heaven. With all due solemnity, we are commemorating that day on which our poor human nature was carried up in Christ, above all the Hosts of Heaven, above all the ranks of Angels, beyond those Heavenly Powers, to the very throne of God the Father. … From that time onward, He was to remain at the Father’s Right Hand, until the completion of the period, ordained by God, for the Church’s children to increase and multiply, after which, in the same Body with which He ascended, He will come again to judge the living and the dead. And so, our Redeemer’s Visible Presence has passed into the Sacraments. Our faith is nobler and stronger because, empirical sight has been replaced by a reliable teaching, whose authority is accepted by believing hearts, enlightened from on high.” – Pope St. Leo the Great
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