May 16

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Gospel Commentary, by Msgr. João Scognamligio Clá Dias, EP

Mass Readings

Featured Saints

St. Simon Stock receives the Scapular from the hands of Our Lady – Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Caussade (France)

St. Simon Stock, priest (†1265). After living as a hermit in England, he entered the Carmelite Order, of which he served as Prior General. Especially known as the apostle of devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel from whom he received the scapular of his Order in an apparition.

St. Ubaldo, bishop (†1160). Reformed community life of the canons of the cathedral, in Gubbio (Italy).

St. Possidius, bishop (†440). As Bishop of Calama, in the Roman province of Numidia, in A, he vigorously fought against the donatist heresy. He was the biographer, friend and disciple of St. Augustine, and was present at his death.

St. Andrew Bobola, priest and martyr (†1657). Polish Jesuit killed by a band of Cossacks in Pinsk (present-day Belarus) after suffering unspeakable torture.

St. Brendan, abade († circa 577 ). Founder of the large abbey at Clonfert, Ireland, an important centre of learning, and laboured with zeal to spread the monastic life several other areas of Ireland. Tradition holds that he also made several sea voyages as a missionary.

Blessed Michael Wozniak, priest and martyr (†1942). Deported  by the Nazis from his native Poland to Dachau concentration camp in Germany, where he endured cruel torment before dying.

Blessed Vidal Vladimir Bajrak, priest and martyr (†1946). Ukrainian priest from the Order of St. Josaphat, he died in prison, condemned for having denounced the religious persecutions of the Soviet regime.

Mass Readings

First Reading – Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day He was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after He had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the Kingdom of God. While meeting with them, He enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” When they had gathered together they asked Him, “Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established 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, and to the ends of the earth.” When He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as He was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen Him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (R.6)

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth. R.

God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our King, sing praise. R.

For King of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne. R.

Second Reading – Eph 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of Him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising Him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things beneath his feet and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Gospel – Mk 16:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then the Lord Jesus, after He spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.


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