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Discussion Questions
The Solemnity of the Ascension
May 13, 2018
Anne Osdieck

First Reading
Acts 1:1-11

1. What would prompt the two men dressed in white suddenly to appear and say to the apostles, “Why are you standing there looking at the sky”? Jesus had just given his friends a big assignment, witnessing to the ends of the earth. What do you think this would consist of? Is there a message here for us?

2. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This could be the definition of evangelization. Pope Francis says that Jesus himself is the model of evangelization. How important is listening to people’s needs in being a witness and evangelist for Christ?

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is nothing else than the culmination of the way he lived his entire life. Moved by his example, we want to enter fully into the fabric of society, sharing the lives of all, listening to their concerns, helping them materially and spiritually in their needs, rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep; arm in arm with others, we are committed to building a new world.

Evangelii Gaudium No. 269


Second Reading

Ephesians 1:17-23 or 4:1-13

1. Does our maturing to “the full stature of Christ” imply some growing pains? Where is Christ most recognizable in your life? in your humility? gentleness? patience? in your caring for the poor and needy?

2. “ … live in a manner worthy of the call you have received. … ” If your call isn’t to be a prophet or a pastor, what is it? Could it be to feed the hungry? Be kind to the excluded? Help people find jobs or housing?


Gospel:

Mark 16:15-20

1. Sometimes it’s hard to get to the end of your own city block. How are you going to go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature? How does preaching the gospel to every creature relate to the sustainability of the Earth?
                                                         
2. Jesus said signs would accompany those who believed. Most of us will probably not be picking up serpents with our hands or drinking deadly things without being harmed. What kinds of signs might you see today when you or someone else proclaims the Gospel?

Anne Osdieck
Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go http://www.ltp.org