May 16 2021, Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord cycle B

Mark 16:15-20. 
Sunday Mass Readings 

Jesus told us He would be with us, always.  

 I am sure that you have seen on the news or a documentary where  people have handled snakes and drank poison during church services  and what happened?  

 People were severely injured or even died.  

If we took the scriptures literally, I doubt that there would be many followers of Jesus.  

  Most of us would be out in the cold if this were the case.  

 Ever since her beginning, our Mother Church has been on a mission to bring more and more people to Christ and the fullness of his life.  

Did you know that today 33 percent of the world’s population is at least nominally, Christian, numbering 2.1 billion people making us the largest religion in the world?  

  Our Catholic family accounts for just over half this group.  

 We are around 1.2 billion Catholic brothers and sisters worldwide.  

When Jesus told us to go out and make disciples of all nations, we did it and are still doing it.  

  Some of us have yet to take it seriously, but we are all at different stages in our commitment to follow Jesus.  

 This feast of the Ascension is more than an opportunity to fulfill the Lord’s command to go out into the world.  

The Ascension promises us that, just as Jesus ascended into heaven, so too, we will be welcomed into heaven as well to be at Christ’s right hand for eternity.  

  This parable demonstrates that point.  

 In 1939, a father and son were famous art collectors.  

When World War II broke out, the son volunteered.  

  In 1944 the son died in battle while rescuing another soldier.  

 A year later, a young man came to see the father.  

 “Sir, you don’t know me, but I was with your son when he died.  

 I want you to know he didn’t suffer.  

I know you both loved art,” he went on, “and though this isn’t much, I want you to have it.”  

  He gave the father a package.  Inside was a portrait of the son.  

  It was a rough work, but the father welled up with tears.  

“It was the least I could do for your son because he saved my life.”  

  A few months later, the father died. At the art auction that followed,  investors gathered from around the world.  

 The first item up for bid was the portrait of the son.  

 The auctioneer tried to start the bidding, “$200… $100… Any bids? Any at all?  

  The investors called out, “Skip this one.  Where are the  Rembrandts?”  

 Just then a man spoke up from the back, “I’ll give you $10 for the  painting.  

It’s all the money I have.”  

  It was the gardener at the father’s estate.  

 So, the auctioneer brought down his gavel.  

  “Sold for $10!”  An investor called back, “Can we now get on with  it?”  

But the auctioneer continued, “The auction is over.  

  According to the will, whoever bought this painting would inherit the  estate, including all the art.”  

 No matter what they said, the wealthy investors couldn’t buy their way into the inheritance.  

  Only the one who had the eyes of love, and knew what he was  l looking at, inherited everything that Father and had to offer.  

My friends, we encounter a portrait of the Father’s Son every day in the people we meet.  It may be a rough sketch, so to speak, of the Rembrandt we will experience in heaven.  

 None the less, it is the same Son of God present in people, sometimes heavily disguised.  

  Jesus told us He would be with us, always.  

  He ascended to heaven so He can stay with us in each other.  

Of course, we have to know what we are looking at and its value.  

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