Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

Ascension Sunday – May 24, 2020

Ascension Sunday – May 24, 2020


The Lord retakes what is eternally his. This is the act of the Ascension which we celebrate this Sunday. The Son who humbled himself by descending from heaven to become man now assumes again that glory by ascending back to the Father. His descent by incarnation finds full circle in his ascent into heaven. But the Son that came down from heaven has brought with him something back up that changes everything.

The early Christians are keen to point it out. As Jesus went up to heaven, he brought with him our humanity, but at the same time left us his Divinity. In Jesus was accomplished the wonderful exchange of gifts – God took humanity to heaven, and men received the Spirit on earth.

Paul, in the second reading, paints a glorious picture of Jesus, seated on the throne in heaven with everything subjected to him. He speaks of Jesus as the King because he wants Christians to look up in order to see the hope that awaits them. In their baptism, Christians will receive the inheritance of Christ. The glory that is rightfully the Son’s is now gained by Christians as Jesus’ brothers and sisters.

Luke, on the other hand, writes in the Acts of the Apostles the episode of the Ascension, to foretell the main program of the whole book of Acts – that by the power of the Spirit, the disciples are tasked and will accomplish spreading the Word to the ends of the world. The Spirit and divinity that Jesus gave his disciples will consume all the earth.

The vision of God is being accomplished by Jesus in the Church. God who is sovereign in the heavens now retakes his sovereignty on the earth – a sovereignty denied by sin. He works through the Spirit working in the disciples, who as the psalms would sing of, are like the mighty soldiers of God conquering the world.

This conquest is not a conquest by the sword. It is a conquest of witnessing. The world will see in the disciples the great works God is accomplishing in them. Our readings are filled with words like power, might, and glory. These are the visible results of a victorious Spirit who conquers all and is in all. The angels speak to us today to wake us up from our trance in the sight of these visions: this glory is ours to achieve when we go and witness to our baptism to all the ends of the earth!

First Reading

Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,

I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught

until the day he was taken up,

after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit

to the apostles whom he had chosen.

He presented himself alive to them

by many proofs after he had suffered,

appearing to them during forty days

and speaking about the kingdom of God.

While meeting with the them,

he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,

but to wait for “the promise of the Father

about which you have heard me speak;

for John baptized with water,

but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons

that the Father has established by his own authority.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,

and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,

throughout Judea and Samaria,

and to the ends of the earth.”

When he had said this, as they were looking on,

he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.

While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,

suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.

They said, “Men of Galilee,

why are you standing there looking at the sky?

This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven

will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm

PS 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.


R. Alleluia.

All you peoples, clap your hands,

shout to God with cries of gladness,

For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,

is the great king over all the earth.

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.


R. Alleluia.

God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;

the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.

Sing praise to God, sing praise;

sing praise to our king, sing praise.

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.


R. Alleluia.

For king of all the earth is God;

sing hymns of praise.

God reigns over the nations,

God sits upon his holy throne.

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.


R. Alleluia.

Second Reading

2 Ephesians 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:

May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,

give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation

resulting in knowledge of him.

May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,

that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,

what are the riches of glory

in his inheritance among the holy ones,

and what is the surpassing greatness of his power

for us who believe,

in accord with the exercise of his great might,

which he worked in Christ,

raising him from the dead

and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,

far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,

and every name that is named

not only in this age but also in the one to come.

And he put all things beneath his feet

and gave him as head over all things to the church,

which is his body,

the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 28:16-20.

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,

to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.

When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

Then Jesus approached and said to them,

“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

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,

teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”


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