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Gospel reflection

May 29, 2022: The Ascension of the Lord

Gospel: Luke 24:46-53

Jesus said to his disciples: “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.


Two truths are striking as we celebrate the Ascension. Notice how the disciples are charged to carry on Jesus’ message. Essential to their mission is that they must wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit before they begin. What is also remarkable is their joy as they wait because after Jesus’ crucifixion they kept the doors locked “for fear of the Jews” (Jewish leaders).

Jesus reminds us of how necessary it is for us to pray before we begin any kind of good work. Our prayer can be full of confidence and joy because we have the gift of Jesus’ Holy Spirit as our source of energy.


How can we remind ourselves to pray? Sometimes, simply throwing a bright colored piece of paper on the floor or writing prayer on our list of tasks to be accomplished or for those of us who use smart phones, some kind of a notice from it.

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Sister Paula Modaff

Sister Paula Modaff

Sister Paula has been a Sister of Providence for more than 50 years. Currently, she ministers as a volunteer tutor in addition to spiritual companionship. Past ministries have included teaching high school students, ministering in Diocesan offices, and serving as a chaplain in health care settings.

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  1. Avatar Paula Modaff, SP on May 28, 2022 at 11:09 am

    When I wrote this reflection, we were in Holy Week. Expressing joy is important and it often needs to be a choice. In the light of the massacres at TOPS in Buffalo and the latest one in at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, joy may be too difficult to choose. At this time, I take courage from the outpouring of support and outrage within and outside of the Buffalo and Uvalde communities. I am praying most earnestly for permanent change, signing every possible petition, and attempting to be kind to those persons around me in order to choose joy in the midst of these unspeakable tragedies, as well as those which have come in the past.

  2. Avatar Denise on May 29, 2022 at 6:54 am

    Thank you, Paula, for the “original” reflection and for your further reflection. It’s so difficult at times to choose joy, to choose love, to pray with hope. Thanks for the encouragement.

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