Reflection: Ascension of the Lord

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Acts.1:1-11; Ps.46; 2nd Reading – Eph.1:17-23; Gospel – Mk.16:15-20]


According to the Gospel of Mark, these are the last words that the resurrected Jesus said before He was taken up into heaven. These words seem to be His last will to those who were His intimate followers – the eleven. Jesus is not leaving them any possession, but He is giving them a command: to go out to the whole world and to proclaim the Good News to all creation.

This is the same thing that Jesus did when he started his public life – He had to proclaim the Good News – God is with us! And if Jesus’ mission was to proclaim this Good News to Israel, the eleven had to proclaim it to the whole world. It is a direct command of Jesus to continue what He started. He does not say how they should do it or what means should be used… He only puts a condition: they are to be united to Him. In fact it is “in His name” that all these things happen. The outcome is not therefore because they have super-extraordinary powers, but because they will do it in Jesus’ name. It is Jesus who will work through them. Therefore, if they do something in Jesus’ name it would be Jesus Himself who does it through them. And to show them the power of His name, He mentions the devils, the tongues, the snakes, the deadly poison and the sick who will recover… things over which Jesus Himself had already shown His power!!!

This is very interesting and encouraging, but what is maybe more consoling to us today, more than what Jesus said to the eleven, is the assurance that Jesus gives to those who accept the Good News, those who believe. In fact, while those who preach the Good News are requested to be united with Jesus because He gave them a direct command, those who accept the Good News, and therefore are united with Jesus because they believe, will perform all the signs that Jesus mentions. Thus these signs are performed by all, preachers (because they are the first to believe) and believers.

We say that we believe, and we are also baptised, but most probably we have never yet seen these signs in our life. Nonetheless we can still perform them, because we believe in the One who works them, Jesus Christ. Where, then, do we stand in regard to these signs?

“Dear Jesus, we proclaim our faith quite often. But it seems that we do not really believe. We say that we believe in God almighty… and when he tries to show us his might, we do not accept it. We say that we believe in you… but we find it hard to accept things which do not seem logical to us. We say we believe in the Holy Spirit… and we do nothing to let Him work in our life. We received our baptism in your name! Help us to truly believe Lord. Thank You Jesus!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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