Reading 1, Acts 1:1-11

1 In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning

2 until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven.

3 He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God.

4 While at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. 'It is', he had said, 'what you have heard me speak about:

5 John baptised with water but, not many days from now, you are going to be baptised with the Holy Spirit.'

6 Now having met together, they asked him, 'Lord, has the time come for you to restore the kingdom to Israel?'

7 He replied, 'It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority,

8 but you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to earth's remotest end.'

9 As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight.

10 They were still staring into the sky as he went, when suddenly two men in white were standing beside them,

11 and they said, 'Why are you Galileans standing here looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way as you have seen him go to heaven.'

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

2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the earth.

3 He brings peoples under our yoke and nations under our feet.

6 Let the music sound for our God, let it sound, let the music sound for our king, let it sound.

7 For he is king of the whole world; learn the music, let it sound for God!

8 God reigns over the nations, seated on his holy throne.

9 The leaders of the nations rally to the people of the God of Abraham. The shields of the earth belong to God, who is exalted on high.

Gospel, Mark 16:15-20

15 And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation.

16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.

17 These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues;

18 they will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.'

19 And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven; there at the right hand of God he took his place,

20 while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.

Reading 2, Ephesians 1:17-23

17 May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him.

18 May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, how rich is the glory of the heritage he offers among his holy people,

19 and how extraordinarily great is the power that he has exercised for us believers; this accords with the strength of his power

20 at work in Christ, the power which he exercised in raising him from the dead and enthroning him at his right hand, in heaven,

21 far above every principality, ruling force, power or sovereignty, or any other name that can be named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.

22 He has put all things under his feet, and made him, as he is above all things, the head of the Church;

23 which is his Body, the fullness of him who is filled, all in all.