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Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Psalm 47:1-2, 5-8

Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome, a great king over all the earth.

God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.

God is king over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

Ephesians 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Matthew 28:16-20

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

(NRSVCE) Meditation

After the disciples suffered the death of Jesus, and after he rose and appeared to them in surprising and more limited ways, he was preparing them for his departing into heaven. Still, they went back to their original vision and idea of what the kingdom was going to be like, wondering how it was going to be established. " “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” they asked.

If you have ever lost someone you depended on, a parent or mentor, you understand that you have to go forward without them and establish your own way and your own answers. You have to rely on yourself. But Jesus does not want his disciples to do this. He wants them to remember everything that he taught them and he wants them to know that he is with them always.

The Lord wanted the disciples to have his Holy Spirit and all the power that goes with it. We too are meant to go into the world and witness to him with the power given us by his Holy Spirit. At Mount Olivet, we read that some worshiped the Lord but some doubted. It is a struggle that many believers face when we are given a heavenly task. Can we actually do what we are called to do? Will the Lord really show up? Do we know if we are being led by the Spirit and are we doing the Lord's Will?

Today, just as the Lord departed into the clouds, we know that he will come on the clouds when he returns. It is a certainty. Will we be the disciples he finds diligently doing his will when he comes? The choice is ours to believe and act on what we have been commanded to do. Let us renew our confidence in Jesus' directives and claim them as our own as his faithful disciples.

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