Scripture Reading: Mark 16:15-20
The Ascension is an important solemnity that celebrates the reality of Jesus’ return to His Father. Hence, the Psalmist invites “all people to clap their hands and cry out with joy” because Our Lord “goes up with shouts of joy and with trumpet blast”. It is a solemnity that lifts up and sustains the hope of Christians that one day we shall be where Christ is. It is the final battle blow of Jesus Christ against the devil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church in teaching about this solemnity highlights the following three important theological points: Christ’s Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain (cf. Acts 1:11)… Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father’s glorious kingdom so that we, the members of His Body, may live in the hope of one day being with Him forever. Jesus Christ, having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all, intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit (665-667). The Solemnity of Ascension sets us on a fast track to receiving the Holy Spirit, because Jesus Himself tells us: “If I do not go away the Counsellor will not come to you.” (Jn 16, 7)
Before His Ascension, Jesus advised us to: “…stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on High”. We must patiently and humbly seek this power on High if we must make any positive impact on this world of ours. As an experienced Commander He knows the terrain we are about to launch into very well, and what it takes to be successful there. He knows how delicate and fragile the hearts of men and women of our age are. He knows that only the Holy Spirit can convince them. So as we celebrate the Solemnity of Ascension today, let us pray for the grace to patiently wait for the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to us on Pentecost day. So the Daily Strength Devotional family (All Users) like the apostles of old in union with Mary the mother of Jesus will embark on a nine days Pentecost fasting and prayer (Novena to the Holy Spirit), starting tomorrow 11th of May to 19th of May as a necessary spiritual preparation for a mighty revival by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Dear friends these nine days Pentecost fasting and prayer (Novena to the Holy Spirit) is for everyone. Endeavour to key into it and be part of the National Pentecost Retreat for all users of Daily Strength Devotional, holding at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Ganaja, Lokoja, Kogi State, starting 18th-20th May 2018.
Acts 1:1-11; Ps 47:2-3.6-7.8-9(R.6) Eph 4:1-13; Accl Mt 28:19a-20b; Gosp Mk 16:15-20 THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD (SOLEMNITY) HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION
1. Lord Jesus, grant me the strength and grace I need to participant in the nine days Pentecost fasting and prayer (Novena to the Holy Spirit), in the name of Jesus.
2. O Lord, make me a fountain of living waters as I embark on this nine days Pentecost fasting and prayer, in the name of Jesus,
Exercise: Pray to be part of the Pentecost Fasting beginning tomorrow.
Meditation: Act 1:4-5.