Ascension marks the beginning of the first Christian Novena. The apostles were told to go to Jerusalem and WAIT to receive Power. They did not know it would be only ten days. They were of one heart and mind in prayer. The Novena is biblical in origin. It has its origin in apostolic times.
Despite their disbelief, the apostles were commissioned to go out to the world and proclaim the Gospel. “Going out they preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it”.
Traditionally we begin today the Novena for Christian Unity. We wait on the Holy Spirit. “It is” he said, “what you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptised with the Holy Spirit”.
We read today Matthew’s farewell speech of Jesus. “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me”. All our authority is delegated. It comes from Jesus and he has received it from the Father. What we must do is: make disciples, baptise in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to teach.
The order is significant.
There are five accounts of the Ascension in the Scripture. In the Second reading we have the account in Acts. In the first reading we have the account in Luke. In the Gospel we have the account in Matthew.