Readings on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord / C

First Reading 
Acts 1:1-11

As the Apostles were looking on, Jesus was lifted up.
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

In the first book, Theophilus,
   I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
   until the day he was taken up,
   after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
   to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
   by many proofs after he had suffered,
   appearing to them during forty days
   and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with the them,
   he enjoined them not to depart from 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 they had gathered together they asked him,
   “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
   that the Father has established by his own authority.
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.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
   he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
   suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
   why are you standing there looking at the sky?
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.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R. :

R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

All you peoples, clap your hands,
   shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
   is the great king over all the earth.

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
   the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
   sing praise to our king, sing praise.

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

For king of all the earth is God;
   sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
   God sits upon his holy throne.

R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
Eph 1:17-23 or Heb 9:24-28; 10:19-23

God seated Jesus at his right hand in the heavens.

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
   a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
   that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
   as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
   with blood that is not his own;
   if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
   from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
   to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once,
   and after this the judgment,
   so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many,
   will appear a second time, not to take away sin
   but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since through the blood of Jesus
   we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
   by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
   that is, his flesh,
   and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,”
   let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
   with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
   and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope,
   for he who made the promise is trustworthy.

Gospel Acclamation
Mt 28:19a, 20b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Lk 24:46-53

And he blessed them, and was taken up to heaven.

A reading from the conclusion of the holy Gospel according to Luke

Jesus said to his disciples:
   “Thus it is written that the Messiah 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.

At the end of the Gospel, the Deacon, or the Priest, acclaims:

The Gospel of the Lord.

All reply:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Then he kisses the book, saying quietly:

Through the words of the Gospel
may our sins be wiped away.

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