"Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God. "

Luke 24: 50-53 (NRSV)

There are several accounts of the Ascension - none of which mention Mary's presence. However, in this version, the responses of the witnesses to it speak of their joy and desire to be continually praising God. This is not the reaction of people who feel they are losing their friend for ever - but of people who have witnessed something truly amazing that has filled them with an enduring hope and sense of expectation that God is preparing something even more wonderful.

There are moments in life when people feel the hand of God on us - possibly fleeting but nonetheless real. Sometimes, this results in a feeling that some commission is being offered and a sense of real enthusiasm for what seems to be being asked. Like the disciples, there is need for a time of prayer and discernment but gratitude for that moment of encounter underlies all else.

Pray for those who are discerning the way in which God wants them to serve.

     Mary, Lady of the Ascension,
     your Son returned to heaven,
     but laid upon his followers a commission to change the world.
     Pray for the people who are responding with joy to this commission
     and guide their discernment of their future.


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