Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 19 September |
Our Lady of La Salette
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Mass prep: 30 seconds/3 points: Has Jesus abandoned us?

Jesus' ascension

Gebhard Fugel | Public Domain

Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 05/15/21

Jesus has gone to Heaven but is closer than before.

Gospel for Sunday Mark 16:15–20

1. Jesus’ Presence

Paradoxically, after the Ascension, the Lord Jesus is closer to us because he is not limited to one place. He is present in every church in the tabernacle, in the Eucharist we receive, in the Word of God, and he gives us the Holy Spirit. He accompanies us constantly, as he assured us in the last words he spoke before his ascension.

2. Key Words 

While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem (Acts 1:4) – Literally the Greek text says: “While eating salt together, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem.” This is an allusion to the salt covenant from the Old Testament and Middle Eastern culture. The people who consumed salt together were declaring their allegiance and their common path.

Go into the whole world (Mark 16:15) – Pope Francis told young people at the 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow that “following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and uncharted paths.” And me, have I gotten off the couch and put on my track shoes yet?

Proclaim the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15) – There is a story that once St. Francis of Assisi and his brothers went out to preach the Gospel. They went through a whole city without proclaiming a single word. When a brother asked him when they would finally preach, St. Francis replied that they had done just that. “Preach the Gospel always, and if need be, also with words!”

And they went forth and preached the Gospel everywhere (Mark 16:20) – There is no limit for preaching the Gospel. It is proclaimed everywhere and to every creature. Everywhere means also in the workplace, among friends, in the family.

While the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs (Mark 16:20) – Jesus is faithful to the salt covenant. He is with us at all times and works with us. He gives us signs of His help today as well. We just need to be open to see them and thank the Lord Jesus.

3. Today

At the site of Jesus’ ascension at the top of the Mount of Olives, there is a small octagonal chapel that dates from the time of the Crusades. After the defeat of the Crusaders in the Holy Land, in 1198, the chapel was taken over by Muslims, and so it remains today. They transformed it into a mosque and added a dome.

According to Tradition, as Jesus ascended into heaven, he touched the ground and the mark of his foot remained in the rock. The site is a visible sign of an untouchable reality. The stone inside the chapel reminds us that Jesus is, paradoxically, closer to us than we think. He accompanies us on earth, although He has ascended into heaven.

Sunday Readings

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.