Daily Bible Reading - May 12, 2024

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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

ASCENSION OF THE LORD

Psalter: Proper / (White)

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 47: 2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (6): God mounts his throne to shout of joy; a blare of trumpets for the Lord

1st Reading: Acts 1: 1-11

In the first part of my work, Theophilus, I wrote of all that Jesus did and taught, from the beginning until the day when he ascended to heaven.

But first he had instructed, through the Holy Spirit, the apostles he had chosen. After his passion, he presented himself to them, giving many signs, that he was alive; over a period of forty days he appeared to them and taught them concerning the kingdom of God. Once, when he had been eating with them, he told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the fulfillment of the Father’s promise about which I have spoken to you: John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit within a few days.”

When they had come together, they asked him, “Is it now that you will restore the kingdom of Israel?” And he answered, “It is not for you to know the time and the steps that the Father has fixed 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, even to the ends of the earth.”

After Jesus said this, he was taken up before their eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight. While they were still looking up to heaven, where he went, suddenly, two men dressed in white stood beside them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen him go there.”

2nd Reading: Ephesians 4: 1-13

Therefore I, the prisoner of Christ, invite you to live the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient, and bear with one another in love.

Make every effort to keep among you the unity of Spirit through bonds of peace. Let there be one body and one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God, the Father of all, who is above all and works through all and is in all.

But to each of us divine grace is given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said: When he ascended to the heights, he brought captives and gave his gifts to people.

He ascended, what does it mean but that he had also descended to the lower parts of the world? He himself who went down, then ascended far above all the heavens to fill all things. As for his gifts, to some he gave to be apostles, to others prophets, or even evangelists, or pastors and teachers. So he prepared those who belong to him for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, until we are all united in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity and sharing the fullness of Christ.

Gospel: Mark 16: 15-20

Then he told them, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; the one who refuses to believe will be condemned.

Signs like these will accompany those who have believed: in my name they will cast out demons and speak new languages; they will pick up snakes, and if they drink anything poisonous, they will be unharmed; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

So then, after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and took his place at the right hand of God.

The Eleven went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.

LECTIO DIVINA:

Read: Jesus commissioned his disciples. He told them to go out to the whole world to proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptized is saved. The one who does not believe is condemned. Jesus further said that those who have believed will be accompanied by signs such as the capacity to cast out demons, the ability to speak new languages, protection from any harm and the power to heal the sick. Immediately after, Jesus was taken up to heaven, taking his place at God’s right hand. Thus, the eleven disciples went forth, preaching to different places. Jesus worked with them. Miracles accompanied their preaching.

Reflect: We have already reflected on the point that telling the faith is a basic requirement for a person to be saved. However, we should not also forget that salvation is first and foremost God’s initiative. The faith we refer to as a requirement must be understood in the sense of our acceptance of the salvation that God is offering us. God offers us his salvation. Faith is our response to such an offer. Today’s Gospel tells us that the one who believes is saved while the one who refuses to believe is condemned. God’s salvific act can fully be accomplished in us only when we are open to accept it.

Pray: Let us pray that God may increase our faith.

Act: Let us offer a hand to somebody who is in dire need of help today.

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