The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them.
When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them.
He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’
With the Ascension the physical presence on earth of Jesus in his humanity comes to an end – until the Second Coming.
In the meantime the real presence of Jesus is mediated in symbol and Sacrament. He is present in the Church and her continuing of his ministry; in the Sacraments, and in a particular way his presence abides in the transformed elements of Bread and Wine that communicate the entire Christ.
For Sacrament and symbol to be effective we need to minister them authentically and we need to receive them fruitfully. Otherwise they betray the one they re-present, and/or leave us untouched, or at least unmoved, by the one who is Love and seeks to draw us ever-deeper into lives of love.
- How do you seek to respond to the call of the Lord to his Church to ‘make disciples’?
- Which commands of the Lord do you find most sympathetic?
- And which most challenging?
Bring your response to the Lord in prayer.
Stained glass in St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury. (c) 2016, Allen Morris