Ascension 2019
Steve Scholer
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

The Ascension of the Lord
Lectionary: 58

Acts 1:1-11
Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Ephesians 1:17-23 or Hebrew 9:24-28; 10:19-23
Luke 24:46-53

Praying Ordinary Time

For people celebrating the
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

For people celebrating Thursday of the 6th Week of Easter

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Enjoying Vacation Time

A Parting Gift

On a TV game show the announcer often gives a “parting gift” to the losing contestants. It is a nice way of saying, “Since you did not win the Grand Prize, we want you to have something to remember us by.”

Let’s look a little closer at what Jesus said and did that day on the Mount of Olives. It had been 40 days since Easter, and Jesus’ earthly ministry was coming to a close. He was about to fulfill the promise to be reunited with God in heaven (the Grand Prize) while the disciples would be left on earth. Jesus gave the disciples and us the ultimate “parting gift” when he gave us the Spirit of wisdom.

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.

If we had to choose between knowledge and wisdom, which would we choose?

Knowledge is being able to rattle off question after question to the answers posted on the board on the game show Jeopardy. Knowledge is being able to remember dates and names and places with perfect recall, almost akin to a Google search engine.

But far more valuable than knowledge is wisdom. Wisdom is discernment, the ability to process knowledge and to find the truth that will form the bedrock of our lives. Wisdom helps us define what is worthy and true, and to find the precepts needed to live a faith-filled life. Wisdom means understanding the consequences of our actions and words before we act or speak. Wisdom means having the knowledge and understanding to recognize the right course of action and having the will and courage to follow it; a prescription for living in peace with the people we interact with daily. Living a wise life gives us great harmony and enriches our sense of self-worth.

The downside to receiving a gift as precious as the one Jesus gave us is that we are expected to put it to good use each and every day or our lives and not hide it under a bushel.

What are we doing with the parting gift our Lord gave to us on Ascension Thursday? Are we using his wonderful gift of wisdom to fulfill his promises? Are we using our wisdom and understanding of God to enrich our faith, promote harmony, and enrich the self-worth of all with whom we come into contact? Are we using the power of the Holy Spirit to be Christ’s witness and to stand up for our faith and put our beliefs in action…that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened, and that we know what is the hope that belongs to his call and what are the riches of glory?

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