May 28, 2017

Ascension

May 28, 2017:  Ascension of the Lord

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Legend below

    Listen
    For Psalm 47
    For upcoming Sundays
      Pope Francis Ascension homily
      Prayer is not a way to be a little at peace with yourself or find some interior harmony; it's to bring all to God, to entrust the world to him.  In Christ’s Ascension, Jesus' power, God's strength, that linked earth and heaven for us, is revealed.   This power continues and will last forever in Christ’s prayers and intercession for us.  Jesus has gifted this capacity to intercede also to us; the Church has the power and the duty to intercede for all.
      The power of prayer lies in anchoring ourselves on God with our burdens, persons, and situations so as not to be submerged by the "evil of living."  Prayer allows God to enter our time.   Prayer is intercession and charity, not tranquility.  Our power lies not in triumphing or shouting according to the world's logic but exercising the gentle power of prayer that can stop wars and bring peace.
      Another power of Jesus revealed in the Ascension is that of proclamation.   When Jesus sent his disciples to proclaim him with the Spirit's power, he trusted us.  We must not close ourselves:  the gospel can't be shut in and sealed; God's love is dynamic and wants to reach others.  To proclaim him, I need to go out, come out of myself, not relax in acquired comforts.  A Christian is a pilgrim, a missionary, a marathon runner, always on the move with the Lord towards other.  The Lord wants the proclamation to go ahead with his strength, with the limpid and meek strength of joyful witnessing.
      Read
        Wordle: Readings 6-1-14
      • Acts 1:1-11  Apostles / Jesus, “Are you going to restore the kingdom now?” / “It's not for you to know, but you'll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you'll be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him.  While they were looking up, two men stood and said, “Why are you standing there?  This Jesus will return.”
      • Ps 47:2-3, 6-9  "God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord."  Shout to God with gladness, for the Lord is king over all the earth!
      • Eph 1:17-23  May God give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know him.  May you be enlightened, that you may know the hope of his call, the riches of his inheritance, and the greatness of his power for us believers, in accord with the might he worked in raising Christ and seating him at his right hand.  God put all things beneath his feet and gave Christ as head of all to his body, the church.
      • Mt 28:16-20  When the Eleven saw Jesus at Galilee, they worshiped but doubted.  Jesus told them, “All power has been given to me.  Go and make disciples of all, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them.  I am with you always.”
      Reflect
      • Creighton:  If I were an apostle hearing Jesus say, “Go make disciples...  baptizing them... teaching them; I am with you always.” then seeing him taken up, what would I think?  Today's celebration marks the loss of Jesus on earth and the hope that he remains with us.  Had the apostles not lost Jesus in the flesh, they likely would not have spread his message.  We’re scared of facing the unknown, but Jesus’ promise of presence reassures us.  We trust Jesus will stay with us no matter what.
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Look up and go out":  When the apostles wanted to know when Jesus would restore the kingdom, Jesus instead responded about who is responsible for restoring it, then ascended, leaving them responsible to make disciples, but with the promise of his presence and the Spirit's power.  We take up where Jesus left off, with the responsibility for evangelizing the world, the Spirit's power, and the privilege of living for the kingdom.
        Himmelfahrt Christi
        Stöberl
      • Passionist:  When we take leave of someone or something, our lives change.  There's joy and sadness as we part and move on.  Jesus' parting words to his apostles are for us too. As ministers of God’s Word, we're called to be Jesus' hands, feet, heart, and soul.  It is no simple task to serve the people of God in the name of the One who created us.  Ministry is filled with joy, positive outcomes, and relishing the growth in love and faith we see, but even when we're tried, tested, or doubting, we can remember Jesus is with us “always, until the end of time.”  We're called to embrace the leave-takings life throws at us, whether illness, injustice, or lack of mercy and compassion among people.  I believe the church Jesus founded on love and mercy is big enough for what surrounds us.  The faith and love of God’s people enriches my life and helps me stay on the path of servanthood....
      • DailyScripture.net:  "The Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven":  40 is a significant in Scripture:  days of Moses' prayer and fasting, years the Israelites were in the wilderness, days Elijah fasted, days the risen Jesus appeared to his disciples.  Jesus' departure and ascension was the end of his physical presence with his disciples and the beginning of his presence with them through the Spirit.  The Risen Lord reigns from heaven as our Redeemer and King; he intercedes for us and empowers us through the Spirit, giving us new life and strength to carry on his work.  His last words point to the mission he entrusted to his followers:  to be his witnesses so that all may  hear the good news.  He gives us the same power he received when the Spirit anointed him at the beginning of his mission.  The Gospel is God's power to free, heal, and transform.  We're called to be ambassadors for Christ, heralds of the good news, to speak on his behalf and bring others into a personal encounter with him.  The risen Lord works in and through us by the power of his Spirit....
      Dress legend
      • 'Hot air balloons' tie:  "Jesus has been taken up into heaven and will return the same way." (1st reading)
      • Blue in shirt:  "John baptized with water..." (1st reading)
      • White in shirt:  "Two men dressed in white stood beside them" (1st reading); Easter season
      • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  "The Lord mounts his throne amid trumpet blasts" (psalm)
      • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord is king over all the earth  (psalm)
      • 'Hands' pin:  Clap your hands (psalm)
      • 'Musical note' tie pin:  Sing hymns of praise (psalm)
      • 'Feet' pin:  He put all things beneath his feet (2nd reading)
      • 'Owl' pin:  "May God give you a Spirit of wisdom" (2nd reading)
      • 'Phone' tie bar:  "May you know the hope that belongs to his 'call'"  (2nd reading)
      • 'Eyeball' tie pin, 'hearts' suspenders:  "They were looking at the sky" (1st reading); "May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened" (2nd reading); Verdi Chorus "salute to love" concert tonight including parishioner Judy
      • 'Dove' pin:  "You'll be baptized with the Holy Spirit, receive power when the Spirit comes" (1st reading); “Make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit" (gospel)
      • 'Olympics' tie pin:  You'll be my witnesses to the ends of the earth (gospel)