St Matthew 28:16-20
St Matthew brings his Gospel to an end with the great commissioning of the Apostles, at the Lord’s Ascension. The authority that Jesus imparts to his Apostles comes from the oneness of the nature of the Blessed Trinity and the unity of their inner life. With that exclusive authority, the Apostles are to transmit the teachings of Jesus, revealed in his word and work.
The Apostles are called to evangelise all nations and peoples, as all areas are to be brought under the Lord’s authority and in harmony with the gospel. The instruction to baptise inaugurates our sacramental life and our call to holiness, sanctification and active participation in the church.
The Holy Spirit guides us daily, to remind us of the teachings of Jesus and to help us understand them more completely. The Hebrew word Emmanuel first appears in the prophetic book of Isaiah “God is with us”. Jesus assures and confirms this, as he testifies just before he ascends to his Father “Know that I am with you always to the end of time”.
Today’s Solemnity of the Ascension reminds us of the closeness of our God and the hope that he desires that we will be eternally with him in heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father.