Instead of the celebrating the 7th Sunday of Easter, the Church in the USA uses this coming Sunday to celebrate the Ascension (which under the traditional calendar is celebrated this coming Thursday). Our readings for this Sunday recount that moment. Our first account is from Acts of the Apostles… a much more detailed account (right down to the traditional 40 days) than any of the Gospels recount. By now we have learned that Acts of the Apostles is the sequel to Luke’s gospel… but as with all Hollywood blockbuster sequels, Luke begins his new narrative with a recounting of the end of the previous book, but with much more detail and special effects… taking a moment from the previous work and fleshing it out to build into the continuing story.
The Word for the Ascension of the Lord:
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Our Gospel, departing from out Easter study of John, takes us to the end of Luke’s Gospel, bookending the Ascension story we heard in our first reading, as a study in comparison between the earlier work and the later work. With the abruptness of the Gospel’s ending you can almost hear those listening crying out for more.