Ascension Day: a day of commissioning

Ascension Day: a day of commissioning

By Mel Jasmin

On May 29, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. Here in the Philippines, we also celebrate Catholic Communication’s Sunday.

Just before His ascension, Jesus commanded His disciples to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” This statement is called the Great Commission, which is also recorded in Matthew 28:18-20. His exhortation applies to us today just as much as it did to the original disciples. Jesus calls us to spread the gospel to everyone. In fact, at the end of every Mass we are sent out to bring Jesus to the world. Recall one version of the dismissal at Mass: “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord” or, another more common version, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” Yet, we can’t give away what we don’t have. What then is “the gospel” that we are to proclaim? The word “gospel” means “good news.” What is the good news? Simply put, it is Jesus Himself. Jesus is God in the flesh. God became man in order to bring about salvation from sin. All that Jesus did and taught was good news. But even more so, the death and resurrection of Jesus are the center of the gospel. Without Jesus’ death and resurrection the rest would be meaningless. He died to take all our sins to the grave and He rose to bring us new life and prove victorious over sin and death. As a result, we can have salvation from our sins and communion with God. Now that is good news and it’s worth sharing! Who will you share it with this week? Are we enablers of fake news? Do we communicate in the Catholic way?

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