Year B, The Ascension of the Lord

At the Right Hand of God

June 1, 2000


Ronald D. Curley

Text: The Holy Gospel According to Saint Mark 16:15-20

When I was a child I used to sit and read this passage that was inscribed over a large globe of the world where missionaries were sent and supported from the assembly of Christians that I worshipped with as an evangelical Protestant. Now, I sit and look at those same words inscribed in Latin over 100 years ago by a Jesuit Brother over a banner.

How awesome is our God that he should entrust this message to men who would some day divide over what exactly these words meant. Yet, these words of our Lord Jesus speak to each and every one of us. They speak of a Gospel, the only Gospel, and the one Gospel that is proclaimed to all. The Good News is this - if you believe (have faith) and are baptized, you will be saved.

This is Mercy's call to us, born of the Mother of Mercy. Jesus proclaims to us to the vocation to Faith and Baptism. This is our response to God's Mercy...the great Love wherewith he loved us.

15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.

16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Surely this happened and still happens, for the graces of God are always present amongst the faithful ones and God has not suddenly become deaf to the pleas of his Mother, Mary, and the petitions of the saints on behalf of the Church. God is ever faithful to those in need. We are receivers of great graces, because God is ever faithful to those who trust in him.

Demons flee, new languages hear the Gospel message, the serpents fail to spread their venom and destroy the Church that Jesus built and founded. The sick, spiritually and physically, recover.

The work of God goes on. The gates of hell do not and will never prevail against the Church.

Pope Leo XIII proclaimed to the whole of creation that "The Church, the pillar and ground of truth (I Tim. 3:15) 'displays the light of true teaching to all peoples.' Like a ship on the high seas of this world, she stays preserve unharmed all on board, even if the world perishes." - Aeterni patris

As St. Don Bosco also dreamed of her, this ship that is guided by the Holy Father sails between the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary... surely Mother Church will be graced by God to come safely into the Home Port, when we see Jesus Face to face someday at the Consummation of all things we have ever and always hoped for in the Holy Creed of the Church!

19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.

How blessed are these words to a poor unworthy soul who reads them and hears them and then mixes them with Faith in the Baptism received.

We cannot help but think (when we read what the Holy Father, Pope Saint Leo XIII said above) of our Blessed Mary, the Woman clothed with the brightness of the sun, moon and stars of her crown, set like a pillar the ship of the Church passes on one side of, as our Sanctissima is the great example of Highest Virtue. It is her example that the faithful see as the Gospel written in the actions of the woman... and that we must ever strive to obtain grace for holiness and the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5) she displays.

In the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, the other Great Pillar on our other side, we humbly bow under the mighty Hand of God to become humble ones (her little children, true brothers and sisters of Jesus) and like Mary, with likeness of Jesus her Son; we too might be exalted like Mary. O, that we might see ourselves (unworthy as we are) in such a way as to surrender our lives of dissipation to become transformed into the likeness of Mary's humility -- sinless and spotless as the chaste Virgin St. Paul speaks of (II Cor. 11:1-6) to stand before God, our Beloved.

When Jesus spoke these words, he was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God!

The message was completed for Jesus, the work done. Now, the vocation was out and the saints followed, as we must follow according to our state in life and the dynamic God allows us to participate within our state.

All of the gifts and callings of God are without any hesitation on the part of God.

"For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."

Let us hear this call of God and revere God alone, following with humble identity. Let us proclaim the Gospel in its full-ness-living as Jesus called us to live... living stones, built together in one great building, one great Body of Christ.

Let is pray that unity might again become the reality as we enter the Home Port someday in the fullness of God timing.

Deus et Sanctissima.