Ascension of the Lord - First Reading: Acts 1:1-11 –
ACTS 1:1-11After appearing to them for forty days, the risen Christ was lifted up. Theywere to await the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
In 1 the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. 4And 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,The Holy Bible : Revised Standard Version Second Catholic edition (2006), with the ecclesiastical approval of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Thomas Nelson Publishing for Ignatius Press.
5for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” So when they had come together, they 6 asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know 7 times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the 8 Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”The Holy Bible : Revised Standard Version Second Catholic edition (2006), with the ecclesiastical approval of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Thomas Nelson Publishing for Ignatius Press.
And 9 when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11and 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.”The Holy Bible : Revised Standard Version Second Catholic edition (2006), with the ecclesiastical approval of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Thomas Nelson Publishing for Ignatius Press.
1:1-3 Who is Theophilus?• The person to whom the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts are addressed (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1).• Since both the Gospel and Acts are addressed to the same person it supports the theory that both documents were written by the same author.• Hellenistic (Greek) authors sometimes dedicated their books to patrons, benefactors, and it is probable that the author of Luke-Acts followed this tradition.• In Luke 1:3, Theophilus is given a title (“most excellent” or “your Excellency”) that would appear appropriate for a high-ranking government official• The name Theophilus, means “one who loves God.”
He Lives• Luke stresses that the risen Jesus gave the apostles convincing signs that he was alive after his death.• He appeared several times and continued teaching them what God’s kingdom meant.• Since they both saw and heard Jesus risen from the dead, they could be genuine witnesses to his resurrection.• Others had only hearsay knowledge about Jesus (e.g., Herod in Luke 9:7–9).• Throughout his Gospel and Acts, Luke emphasizes how important it is to both see and hear Jesus.
Why Is the Resurrection Important? 1) The Resurrection 4) The Resurrection demonstrates that what entitles Jesus to a Jesus predicted about position of glory (1 his being raised was Peter 1:11). true (Mk 8:31, 9:9,31,10:34; Jn 2:19). 5) The Resurrection 2) The Resurrection proclaims that Jesus is proves that Jesus is the Lord (Acts 2:36). Son of God (Romans 1:4). 3) The Resurrection testifies to the success of Christ’s mission of salvation (Romans 4:25).
Today, People Doubt Jesus’ Resurrection • History records that Jesus • After seeing the resurrected appeared in bodily form to Christ, they were fearless and risked everything to the disciples on many spread the Gospel occasions after his throughout the world. resurrection, proving that • They faced imprisonment, he was alive. beatings, rejection, and martyrdom, yet they never • Think about the changes compromised their mission. that occurred in the • These men and early disciples’ lives. church members would not have risked their lives for • At Jesus’ death, they something they knew was a scattered fraud. • We can have confidence in • They were disillusioned their historical testimony and fearful. and share in their mission to spread the word.