Jesus returns to his Father in heaven
In this issue:
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his apostles and other followers several times.
He spoke to Mary of Magdala at his empty tomb. He twice appeared in the midst of the apostles when they were in a locked room. He walked along with two followers as they traveled from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. And he waited on the shore of a lake for seven of his friends to return from fishing.
Jesus did all these things during the 40 days after his resurrection. Whenever he appeared to his friends, he talked to them about the kingdom of God.
Jesus also told his apostles not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
When all of the apostles were gathered with Jesus at the mount called Olivet, they asked him a question.
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” they wanted to know.
“It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority,” Jesus said in reply. “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.”
The apostles were looking at Jesus as he finished speaking. Then, right before their eyes, Jesus was lifted up upon a cloud that took him from their sight.
As they strained their eyes and craned their necks to get a better look at the sky where they last saw Jesus, two men dressed in white suddenly appeared next to them.
“Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?” the men asked the apostles. “This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
The apostles began walking back to Jerusalem. They returned to the upper room where they had been staying, and they prayed there with some of the other followers of Jesus
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. What did Jesus talk to his friends about?
2. What took Jesus up to heaven?
How would you feel or what would you do if you saw the resurrected Jesus?
After Jesus returned to heaven -- which is called the Ascension -- his followers decided they needed to choose a replacement for Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus.
In Acts 1:15-26, about 120 of Jesus' followers, including the apostles, were gathered together.
Peter stood up to speak. He reminded everyone how Judas had betrayed Jesus for money, and that Judas had died after using that money to purchase a piece of property.
Since it was written in the Psalms, "May another take his office," Peter said that Judas needed to be replaced.
"Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection,” Peter said.
Two men were suggested -- Matthias and Joseph, called Barsabbas, who also was known as Justus.
After those gathered had prayed for guidance to make the right choice, the two men were given lots. The lot fell on Matthias, who was chosen as Judas' replacement and was counted as an apostle with the other 11.
St. Eugene de Mazenod was born in France in 1782. He and his family fled to Italy during the French Revolution. Eugene returned 11 years later and decided to become a priest when he saw the state of the French church.
After ordination, he ministered to needy people in Aix-en-Provence. In 1816, he founded and was superior general of an order that eventually became known as the Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate.
In 1837, he became bishop of Marseilles, where he was a reformer and built new churches for those immigrating to France.
Eugene died in 1861, and we honor him on May 21