When I was a kid, there was someone I would have liked to see. I used to say to my parents: “They were lucky the disciples, they saw Jesus! I would like to see Him too.” But, It is not possible! In fact, the disciples didn’t see Him for very long. Do you know how long He stayed with them? Three and a half years, which isn’t a lot? One day He left them. Do you know what happened on that day? Now listen to the story and you will find out. Question of the day: What did the angels tell the disciples?
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Full text of this story :
As they followed Jesus from town to town, from village to village, the disciples witnessed extraordinary miracles. Then they saw him suffer excruciatingly and die on the cross. What would become of them now that He’s dead? Only despair, emptiness, tears ahead of them. Everything is finished. But, on Easter Sunday, many declare that He is alive again, that they have seen Him. Some believe them, others do not believe them. – Maybe they saw a spirit, a ghost? They say No! Jesus is truly risen and for forty days he shows himself to them. What joy to be reunited with their Friend, their Lord! One day, there are five hundred in one place and here he appears. He gives proof that he is alive and well. They speak to him, touch him, eat with him. They see the nail marks in his hands and the wound in his side. Yes! Jesus is alive but in a different body that allows him to move through walls and closed doors, to appear and disappear when he wants and where he wants. He explains to them how Moses and the prophets foretold that he was to suffer, die and finally be resuscitated. One day, the apostles set off because they have a very important appointment. – Let’s go! They say. The Lord awaits us on the Mount of Olives. When Jesus appears to them, they kneel down and bow their heads in respect. They bow down to him. Then he says to them: – All power has been given to me on earth and in heaven! These words echo in the minds of the disciples. – All power! So it is limitless power. No king, no head of state has such a power; Jesus is the only one. He did what no man could. He restored the sight to blindpeople. He healed the sick and the lepers. He cast out demons. He transformed the life of Zacchaeus. He resuscitated the little girl who had just died. He fed thousands of people… He walked on the sea and calmed the wind. And more, He gave His life on the cross. And now He’s alive! The disciples pay close attention to Jesus’ words. It is a solemn moment. – Now, He says to them, I will go back to My Father and you, you will walk the world and proclaim all that I have taught you! You are going to be missionaries! You will tell men that sin, that is, disobedience to God, leads them to hell but you will also tell them that I have come so that they can experience the presence of God. Tell them that I love them, that I was punished for them. Those who will believe in me, you must baptize them. You will no longer se but rest assured, you will not be alone because I will be with you every day, until the end of the world. You will pray for the sick in my name and they will be healed. You will do great miracles. You will speak languages you don’t know. The disciples are amazed at all of His words. Jesus says to them again: – For the moment, stay in Jerusalem because in a few days you will receive a power, the Holy Spirit. It will give you the strength you will need to accomplish this great mission that I entrust to you. He finishes giving His instructions and then He blesses them. And now He is rising into the sky up he goes, further and further away. The disciples are amazed! They follow him with their eyes and then nothing. They can’t see Him anymore. Jesus has disappeared in a cloud. The disciples stay there, without moving, without saying a word. Two angels dressed in white, similar to men, appear and they tell them: – Why do you keep looking up to the sky? You will no longer see Jesus. He came on earth to save men, to give His life, and now He’s returned to heaven, to God, His Father. He’s in Glory forever. You won’t see Him on the earth but one day He will return. As you saw Him ascend to heaven, He will descend in the same way on a cloud. The angels disappear and the disciples worship Jesus. – What an unforgettable day, they say to each other. We have just experienced unique events and so glorious. They will remain engraved in our hearts forever! What happiness to know that Jesus was welcomed by God that he is forever in Glory! Now let’s get back to Jerusalem quickly. We will tell the others all that we have seen and heard. So they will be able to glorify God with us. With hearts overflowing with joy, they leave to join the other disciples.
1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! I don’t know how you reacted when you heard this account of the Ascension of Jesus, His ascent to heaven. For my part, I tell myself that the disciples must have been totally overwhelmed by what they heard and amazed by what they saw: Jesus rising in the sky then disappearing in the cloud, and two angels speaking to them. Talking about angels, do you remember what they said? That’s our question. They said that Jesus is in heaven for ever. That’s why you can’t see Him now but one day He will return in a cloud to fetch those who love and obey Him. Today He hasn’t returned yet, but in the meantime, you and I can pray to him, praise him, Worship him. He sees us, hears us and wants to do us good. So talk to Him often, tell Him what’s in your heart, your joys, your sorrows, your worries, and thank Him for giving His life for you.
4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! You have just listened to or read this story with your family, so continue these moments by praising the Lord all together, each with your own words, and end with a song of praise, of worship. The Ascension story is found in the Gospel of Luke in chapter 24 verses 50 to 53 and in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles verses 1 to 14.