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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 06-05-11, Seventh Sunday of Easter/Ascension of the Lord
USCCB.org/New American Bible ^ | 0605-11 | New American Bible

Posted on 06/05/2011 6:29:35 AM PDT by Salvation

June 5, 2011


Seventh Sunday of Easter

 

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Gospel


Reading 1

Acts 1:12-14
After Jesus had been taken up to heaven the apostles
returned to Jerusalem
from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem,
a sabbath day’s journey away.

When they entered the city
they went to the upper room where they were staying,
Peter and John and James and Andrew,
Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew,
James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot,
and Judas son of James.
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,
together with some women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

 
Responsorial Psalm

R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.

 
Reading II

Beloved:
Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ,
so that when his glory is revealed
you may also rejoice exultantly.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
But let no one among you be made to suffer
as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer.
But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed
but glorify God because of the name.

 
Gospel

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: ascension; catholic; easter; jesuschrist; prayer
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For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 06/05/2011 6:29:39 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
Sigh.................................Or you may hear the Ascension of the Lord readings -- three days late.

June 5, 2011


Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

 

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Gospel


Reading 1

Acts 1:1-11
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 heavenwill return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

 
Responsorial Psalm

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

 
Reading II

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

 
Gospel

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

 


2 posted on 06/05/2011 6:33:37 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Bring back Ascension Thursday Ping! Contact your Bishops if you wish!

Bishops listed by Diocese

Bishops by Name

Bishops listed by state

Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

3 posted on 06/05/2011 6:38:35 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Please Let us Celebrate Ascension on Thursday Again
English Bishops May Transfer Ascension, Epiphany Back to Traditional Days
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 2nd Glorious Mystery: The Ascension (Patristic Rosary)
Jesus' Ascension gives a foretaste of life in Heaven, teaches Pope Benedict
The denial of the Ascension is as grave a departure from Christian teaching as is ...
[Our Lord's] Ascension
Podcast: Fr. Z Reads Pope St. Leo the Great's Sermon 74 (On the Ascension)
ASCENSION THURSDAY - Holy Day of Obligation in certain dioceses

Ascension Sunday(Sigh)
New Roman">Ascension Thursday Sermons
Today's the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord
Ascension reveals the 'ultimate vocation' of all human beings, says Pope during prayer today
Extinguish the Paschal Candle on the Feast of Ascension . . . or Else!
HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION
Ascension Thursday
Thursday of the Ascension of Our Lord
Feast of the Ascension - Catholic Holy Day of Obligation
The Ascension of Christ and His Glorified Existence

4 posted on 06/05/2011 6:51:04 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
St. Boniface
Feast Day: June 5
Born: 673-680 at Crediton, Devonshire, England
Died: 5 June 754 at Dokkum, Freisland
Patron of: brewers; file cutters; tailors


5 posted on 06/05/2011 7:53:02 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Boniface

Feast Day: June 05
Born: (around) 675 :: Died: 754

This great apostle of Germany was born in Wessex in England. When he was small, some missionaries stayed a while at his home. They told the boy all about their work. They were so happy and excited about bringing the Good News to people. Boniface decided in his heart that he would be just like them when he grew up.

While still young, he went to study at a monastery school in Exeter. When he grew up, he became a popular teacher. Then after he was ordained a priest, he was a powerful preacher because he was so full of enthusiasm.

Boniface wanted everyone to know about and love Jesus and his Church. With the blessings of Pope St. Gregory II, he went as a missionary to the western part of Germany. St. Albinus, St. Abel and St. Agatha also helped him. Boniface preached with great success. He was gentle and kind. He was also a man of great courage.

Once, to prove that the pagan gods were false, he boldly went to a huge oak tree called the "oak of Thor." The pagans believed it was sacred to their gods. In front of a large crowd, Boniface took of his shirt and hacked the huge tree a few times with an axe bringing it down with a crash. Boniface stood on the trunk, and asked, "How stands your mighty god? My God is stronger than he." The pagans who expected their gods to punish Boniface for this act, realized that their gods were false when nothing happened to Boniface.

Everywhere he preached, people accepted Jesus, were baptized and joined the Church. In his lifetime, Boniface converted many people. He destroyed statues and temples of the pagan gods, and built churches and monasteries in those places.

In 732, the new pope, St. Gregory III made Boniface an archbishop and gave him another mission territory. It was Bavaria, which is part of Germany today. He and some companions went there to teach the people about the true faith. Here, too, the holy bishop was very successful.

Then, one day, he was at Freisland in Holland, preparing to confirm some converts. A group of fierce warriors swooped down on the camp. Boniface would not let his companions defend him. "Our Lord tells us to repay evil with good," he said. "The day has come for which I have waited so long. Trust in God and he will save us."

The Barbarians attacked, and Boniface was the first one killed and fifty-two newly converted Christians were also killed. He died a martyr on June 5, 754. As he wished, he was buried at the famous monastery he had started at Fulda, Germany.


6 posted on 06/05/2011 7:55:33 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 06/05/2011 7:58:15 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
8 posted on 06/05/2011 7:58:40 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus. High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

9 posted on 06/05/2011 8:00:14 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


10 posted on 06/05/2011 8:01:13 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

11 posted on 06/05/2011 8:02:22 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Bachmann: Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


12 posted on 06/05/2011 8:03:16 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion." These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.

The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God.

INVOCATION

O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own:
Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, 0 my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.
Saint Gertrude

FOR THE CHURCH

O most holy Heart of Jesus, shower Thy blessings in abundant measure upon Thy holy Church, upon the Supreme Pontiff and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance; convert sinners; enlighten unbelievers; bless our relations, friends and benefactors; assist the dying; deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Thy love. Amen.

A PRAYER OF TRUST

O God, who didst in wondrous manner reveal to the virgin, Margaret Mary, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart, grant that loving Thee, after her example, in all things and above all things, we may in Thy Heart find our abiding home.
Roman Missal

ACT OF LOVE

Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine;
pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all m] wrong-doing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen.
Cardinal Merry del Val

MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART
Remember, O most sweet Jesus, that no one who has had recourse to Thy Sacred Heart, implored its help, or sought it mercy was ever abandoned. Encouraged with confidence, O tenderest of hearts, we present ourselves before Thee, crushes beneath the weight of our sins. In our misery, O Sacred Hear. of Jesus, despise not our simple prayers, but mercifully grant our requests.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

June and the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Do not be afraid to be pious
Only for Love: The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood [Catholic Caucus]

Catholic Word of the Day: LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART, 10-19-09
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart Today
The Biblical Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Heart to Heart (Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion) [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
(June) The Month of the Sacred Heart {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
The Heart of the World (On the Sacred Heart of Jesus) (Catholic Caucus)
The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Origin of the Sacred Heart Badge

Importance of Devotion to the Sacred Heart
An Awesome Homily on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Father Edmond Kline
Catholic Prayer and Devotion: June the Month of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Devotions: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Pope Urges Jesuits to Spread Sacred Heart Devotion
Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Daily Recomendation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus powerful prayer!
The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist
The Love of the Sacred Heart

On the Sacred Heart - "We Adore God's Love of Humanity"
HAURIETIS AQUAS (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart) - Encyclical by Pope Pius XII
Solemnity Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sacred Heart a Feast of God's Love, Says John Paul II
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity and the Restoration of Christendom
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus-The Early Church, Middle Ages up to St. Margaret Mary
See this Heart
‘God Will Act and Will Reign’
About Devotion To The Sacred Heart:The Story Of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Rediscover Feast of Sacred Heart, John Paul II Tells Youth

 
 

"Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

- Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary

Our Lord also made 12 promises to St. Margaret Mary for those that are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
  2. I will give peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.

13 posted on 06/05/2011 8:05:21 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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June 2011

Pope Benedict XVI's Intentions

General Intention: That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses of the caring and merciful love of God.

Missionary Intention: That the Holy Spirit may bring forth from our communities numerous missionary vocations, willing to fully consecrate themselves to spreading the Kingdom of God.


14 posted on 06/05/2011 8:06:27 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 1:12-14

The Apostolic College


[12] Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near
Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away; [13] and when they had entered, they
went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James
and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of
Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. [14] All these with
one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary
the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

13-14. St Luke mentions the twelve Apostles by name, with the exception of Ju-
das Iscariot.

This is the first passage which tells of the spiritual life and devout practices of
the disciples. Significantly it places the emphasis on prayer, in keeping with our
Lord’s own practice and with his constant recommendation to his followers (cf.
Mt 6:5, 14:23; etc.).

“Prayer is the foundation of the spiritual edifice. Prayer is all-powerful” (St. J. Es-
criva, “The Way”, 83). It can truly be said that prayer is the bedrock of the Church,
which will be made manifest with the coming of the Holy Spirit. The prayer of the
disciples, including the women, in the company of Mary would have been a sup-
plication of entreaty and praise and thanksgiving to God. This union of hearts and
feelings produced by prayer is a kind of anticipation of the gifts the Holy Spirit will
bring.

“We are told this time and again in the passage narrating the lives of the first fol-
lowers of Christ. ‘All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer (Acts
1:14). [...] Prayer was then, as it is today, the only weapon, the most powerful
means, for winning the battles of our interior struggle” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of
God”, 242).

Here we see Mary as the spiritual center round which Jesus’ intimate friends ga-
ther: tradition has meditated on this “tableau”, and found it to depict our Lady’s
motherhood over the whole Church, both at its beginning and over the course of
the centuries.

On 21 November 1964, at the closing of the third session of Vatican II, Paul VI
solemnly proclaimed Mary Mother of the Church: “Our vision of the Church must
include loving contemplation of the marvels which God worked in his holy Mother.
And knowledge of the true Catholic doctrine about Mary will always be the key
to correct understanding of the mystery of Christ and of the Church.

Reflection on the close ties linking Mary and the Church, so clearly indicated by
the present constitution [”Lumen Gentium”], allows us to think this is the most
appropriate moment to satisfy a desire which, as we pointed out at the end of
the last session, many council Fathers have made their own, calling insistently
for an explicit declaration during this council of the maternal role which the Bles-
sed Virgin exercises towards the Christian people. To this end we have consi-
dered it opportune to dedicate a title in honor of the Virgin which has been pro-
posed in different parts of the Catholic world and which we find particularly tou-
ching, for it sums up in a wonderfully succinct way the privileged position which
this council has recognized the Blessed Virgin to have in the Church.

“And so, for the glory of the Virgin and for our consolation, we proclaim Mary
Most Holy to be the Mother of the Church, that is, Mother of the entire people of
God, faithful as well as pastors, who call her loving Mother, and we desire that
from now on she be honored and invoked by the entire people of God under this
most pleasing title.”

The text makes reference to Jesus’ “brethren”, an expression which also appears
in the Gospels. Given that the Christian faith teaches us that the Virgin Mary had
no children other than Jesus, whom she conceived by the action of the Holy Spi-
rit and without intervention of man, this expression cannot mean that Jesus had
blood brothers or sisters.

The explanation lies in the peculiarities of Semitic languages. The word used in
the New Testament translates a Hebrew term which applied to all the members
of a family group and was used for even distant cousins (cf. Lev 10:4) and for ne-
phews (Gen 13:8). See note on Mt 12:46-47. In the New Testament then; the
word “brethren” has a very wide meaning—as happens, also, for example, with
the word “apostle.”

At one point Jesus describes those who hear and keep his word as his “breth-
ren” (Lk 8:21), which seems to imply that, in addition to meaning belonging to
the same family group, the word “brother” in the New Testament may be a de-
signation for certain disciples who were particularly loyal to our Lord.

St Paul, for his part, uses this term for all Christians (cf., for example, 1 Cor 1:
10; etc), as does St Peter, according to Acts 12:17.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


15 posted on 06/05/2011 8:07:33 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Peter 4:13-16

The Christian Meaning of Suffering (Continuation)


[13] But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also re-
joice and be glad when his glory is revealed. [14] If you are reproached for the
name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests
upon you. [15] But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a wrong-
doer, or a mischief-maker; [16] yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be
ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

12-19. St Peter now returns to the main theme of this part of the letter (3:13-4:
19) — the trials Christians unjustly suffer on account of being followers of Christ
(cf. 1:6-7; 2:18-25; 3:13-17). They should not be surprised or ashamed by this;
rather, it should make them happy and lead them to glorify God, for if they share
in Christ’s suffering it means they will also share in his exaltation. St John of Avi-
la wrote:”God wants to open our eyes and have us realize what favors are being
done us in things the world regards as disadvantages, and how honored we are
to be scoffed at for seeking the honor of God, and what great reward awaits us
for our present depression, and how God’s gentle, sweet and loving arms are o-
pened wide to receive those wounded in doing battle on his behalf’ (”Letter”,
58).

Moreover, the “spirit of God” will rest on them (v. 14): our Lord promised the spe-
cial assistance of the Holy Spirit to persecuted Christians hauled before courts
on account of their faith (cf. Mt 10:19-20); St Peter here calls him “the spirit of
glory”, because his indwelling in the Christian is a guarantee and an anticipation
of eternal glory (cf. 2 Cor 1:22).

Before the divine judgment which lies ahead (it is one of the frequent themes of
the letter) no one can be complacent (vv. 17-18). The Apostle’s severe warnings
are reminiscent of those Jesus gave the women of Jerusalem on his way to Cal-
vary: “if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
(Lk 23:31). However, if one has suffered on Christ’s account in this life it is clear
that one can approach the judgment with greater confidence (cf. Mt 5:11-12; 10:
32).

13. “To the prospect of the Kingdom of God,” Bl. John Paul II teaches, “ is linked
hope in that glory which has its beginning in the Cross of Christ. The Resurrection
revealed this glory — eschatological glory — which in the Cross of Christ was com-
pletely obscured by the immensity of suffering. Those who share in the suffering
of Christ are also called, through their own sufferings, to share in glory” (”Salvfici
Doloris”, 22).

16. This is one of the three places in the New Testament in which Christ’s ‘disci-
ples are described as “Christians” (cf. Acts 11:26; 26:28). As St Luke explains
in Acts, they were first given this name in Antioch, the capital of the Roman pro-
vince of Syria (cf. Acts 11:26).

Being a Christian should never cause one to be cowed or ashamed; it should be
a motive for gratitude to God and for holy pride: “Christians who become cowed
or inhibited or envious in the face of the licentious behavior of those who have not
accepted the Word of God, show that they have a very poor idea of the faith. If
we truly keep the law of Christ—that is, if we make the effort to do so, because
we will not always fully succeed—we will find ourselves endowed with a wonderful
gallantry of spirit that does not need to look elsewhere to discover the full mea-
ning of human dignity” (St. J. Escrivá, Friends of God, 38).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


16 posted on 06/05/2011 8:10:07 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 17:1-11a

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus


[1] When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted His eyes to Heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee, [2]
since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom
Thou hast given Him. [3] And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only
true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. [4] I glorified Thee on earth,
having accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; [5] and now, Father,
glorify Thou Me in Thy own presence with the glory which I had with Thee before
the world was made.

[6] “I have manifested Thy name to the men who Thou gavest Me out of the world;
Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. [7]
Now they know that everything Thou hast given Me is from Thee; [8] for I have
given them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them and
know in truth that I came from Thee; and they have believed that thou didst send
Me. [9] I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom
Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; [10] all Mine are Thine, and Thine are
Mine, and I am glorified in them. [11a] And now I am no more in the world, but
they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-26. At the end of the discourse of the Last Supper (Chapters 13-16) begins
what is called the Priestly Prayer of Jesus, which takes up all of Chapter 17.
It is given that name because Jesus addresses His Father in a very moving dia-
logue in which, as Priest, He offers Him the imminent sacrifice of His passion
and death. It shows us the essential elements of His redemptive mission and
provides us with teaching and a model for our own prayer. “The Lord, the Only-
begotten and co-eternal with the Father, could have prayed in silence if neces-
sary, but He desired to show Himself to the Father in the attitude of a suppli-
cant because He is our Teacher. [...] Accordingly this prayer for His disciples
was useful not only to those who heard it, but to all who would read it” (St.
Augustine, “In Ioann. Evang.”, 104, 2).

The Priestly Prayer consists of three parts: in the first (verses 1-5) Jesus asks
for the glorification of His holy human nature and the acceptance, by His Father,
of His sacrifice on the cross. In the second part (verses 6-19) He prays for His
disciples, whom He is going to send out into the world to proclaim the redemp-
tion which He is now about to accomplish. And then (verses 20-26) He prays
for unity among all those who will believe in Him over the course of the centu-
ries until they achieve full union with Him in Heaven.

1-5. The word “glory” here refers to the splendor, power and honor which ‘belong
to God’. The Son is God equal to the Father, and from the time of His Incarnation
and birth and especially through His death and resurrection His divinity has been
made manifest. “We have beheld His glory, glory as the only Son from the Father”
(John 1:14). The glorification of Jesus has three dimensions to it. 1) It promotes
the glory of the Father, because Christ, in obedience to God’s redemptive decree
(cf. Philippians 2:6), makes the Father known and so brings God’s saving work to
completion. 2) Christ is glorified because His divinity, which He has voluntarily dis-
guised, will eventually be manifested through His human nature which will be seen
after the Resurrection invested with the very authority of God Himself over all crea-
tion (verses 2, 5). 3) Christ, through His glorification, gives man the opportunity to
attain eternal life, to know God the Father and Jesus Christ, His only Son: this in
turn redounds to the glorification of the Father and of Jesus Christ while also invol-
ving man’s participation in divine glory (verse 3).

“The Son glorifies You, making You known to all those You have given Him. Fur-
thermore, if the knowledge of God is life eternal, we the more tend to life, the
more we advance in this knowledge. [...] There shall the praise of God be without
end, where there shall be full knowledge of God; and because in Heaven this know-
ledge shall be full, there shall glorifying be of the highest” (St. Augustine, “In Ioann.
Evang.”, 105, 3).

6-8. Our Lord has prayed for Himself; now He prays for His Apostles, who will con-
tinue His redemptive work in the world. In praying for them, Jesus describes some
of the prerogatives of those who will form part of the Apostolic College.

First, there is the prerogative of being chosen by God: “Thine they were...”. God
the Father chose them from all eternity (cf. Ephesians 1:3-4) and in due course
Jesus revealed this to them: “The Lord Jesus, having prayed at length to the Fa-
ther, called to Himself those whom He willed and appointed twelve to be with Him,
whom He might send to preach the Kingdom of God (cf. Mark 3:13-19; Matthew
10:1-42). These apostles (cf. Luke 6:13) He constituted in the form of a college or
permanent assembly, at the head of which He placed Peter, chosen from among
them (cf. John 21:15-17)” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 19). Also, the Apostles
enjoy the privilege of hearing God’s teaching direct from Jesus. From this teaching,
which they accept with docility, they learn that Jesus came from the Father and
that therefore He is God’s envoy (verse 8): that is, they are given to know the rela-
tionships that exist between the Father and the Son.

The Christian, who also is a disciple of Jesus, gradually acquires knowledge of
God and of divine things through living a life of faith and maintaining a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Recalling this human refinement of Christ, who spent His life in the service of
others, we are doing much more than describing a pattern of human behavior; we
are discovering God. Everything Christ did has a transcendental value. It shows
us the nature of God and beckons us to believe in the love of God who created us
and wants us to share His intimate life” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”,
109).

11-19. Jesus now asks the Father to give His disciple four things—unity, perseve-
rance, joy and holiness. By praying Him to keep them in His name (verse 11) He
is asking for their perseverance in the teaching He has given them (cf. verse 6)
and in communion with Him. An immediate consequence of this perseverance is
unity: “that they may be one, even as We are one”; this unity which He asks for
His disciples is a reflection of the unity of the Three Divine Persons.

He also prays that none of them should be lost, that the Father should guard and
protect them, just as He Himself protected them while He was with them. Thirdly,
as a result of their union with God and perseverance they will share in the joy of
Christ (verse 13): in this life, the more we know God and the more closely we are
joined to Him, the happier will we be; in eternal life our joy will be complete, be-
cause our knowledge and love of God will have reached its climax.

Finally, He prays for those who, though living in the world, are not of the world,
that they may be truly holy and carry out the mission He has entrusted to them,
just as He did the work His Father gave Him to do.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


17 posted on 06/05/2011 8:11:07 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 1:1-11

Prologue


[1] In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do
and teach, [2] until the day when he was taken up, after he had given command-
ment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. [3] To them
he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them
during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. [4] And while staying with
them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise
of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me, [5] for John baptized with wa-
ter, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The Ascension


[6] So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time
restore the kingdom of Israel?” [7] He said to them, “It is not for you to know times
or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. [8] But you shall re-
ceive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnes-
ses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” [9]
And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud
took him out of their sight. [10] And while they were gazing into heaven as he went,
behold, two men stood by them in white robes, [11] and said, “Men of Galilee, why
do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into
heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-5. St Luke is the only New Testament author to begin his book with a prologue,
in the style of secular historians. The main aim of this preface is to convey to the
reader the profoundly religious character of the book which he is holding in his
hands. It is a work which will give an account of events marking the fulfillment of
the promises made by the God of Israel the Creator and Savior of the world. Un-
der the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, into his book St Luke weaves quotations
from the Psalms, Isaiah, Amos and Joel; it both reflects the Old Testament and
interprets it in the light of its fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

The prologue refers to St Luke’s Gospel as a “first book”. It mentions the last e-
vents of our Lord’s life on earth—the appearances of the risen Christ and his as-
cension into heaven—and links them up with the account which is now beginning.

St Luke’s aim is to describe the origins and the early growth of this Christianity,
of which the main protagonist of this book, the Holy Spirit, has been the cause.
Yet this is not simply an historical record: the Acts of the Apostles, St Jerome
explains, “seems to be a straightforward historical account of the early years of
the nascent Church. But if we bear in mind it is written by Luke the physician,
who is praised in the Gospel (cf. 2 Cor 8: 18), we will realize that everything he
says is medicine for the ailing soul” (”Epistle” 53, 9).

The spiritual dimension of this book, which is one of a piece with the Third Gos-
pel, nourished the soul of the first generations of Christians, providing them with
a chronicle of God’s faithful and loving support of the new Israel. “This book”, St.
John Chrysostom writes at the start of his great commentary, “will profit us no
less than the Gospels, so replete is it with Christian wisdom and sound doctrine.
It offers an account of the numerous miracles worked by the Holy Spirit. It con-
tains the fulfillment of the prophecies of Jesus Christ recorded in the Gospel; we
can observe in the very facts the bright evidence of Truth which shines in them,
and the mighty change which is taking place in the Apostles: they become per-
fect men, extraordinary men, now that the Holy Spirit has come upon them. All
Christ’s promises and predictions—He who believes in me will do these and even
greater works, you will be dragged before tribunals and kings and beaten in the
synagogues, and will suffer grievous things, and yet you will overcome your per-
secutors and executioners and will bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth—all
this, how it came to pass, may be seen in this admirable book. Here you will
see the Apostles speeding their way overland and sea as if on wings. These Ga-
lileans, once so timorous and obtuse, we find suddenly changed into new men,
despising wealth and honor, raised above passion and concupiscence” (”Hom.
on Acts”, 1).

St Luke dedicates this book to Theophilus—as he did his Gospel. The dedication
suggests that Theophilus was an educated Christian, of an upper-class back-
ground, but he may be a fictitious person symbolizing “the beloved of God”, which
is what the name means. It also may imply that Acts was written quite soon after
the third Gospel.

1. “To do and teach”: these words very concisely sum up the work of Jesus Christ,
reported in the Gospels. They describe the way in which God’s saving Revelation
operates: God lovingly announces and reveals himself in the course of human his-
tory through his actions and through his words. “The economy of Revelation is rea-
lized by deeds and words, which are intrinsically bound up with each other”, Vati-
can II teaches. “As a result, the works performed by God in the history of salvation
show forth and bear out the doctrine and realities signified by the words; the words,
for their part, proclaim the works, and bring to light the mystery they contain. The
most intimate truth which this revelation gives us about God and the salvation of
man shines forth in Christ, who is himself both the mediator and the sum total of
Revelation” (”Dei Verbum”, 2).

The Lord “proclaimed the kingdom of the Father both by the testimony of his life
and by the power of his word” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 35). He did not limit
himself to speech, to being simply the Teacher whose words opened man’s minds
to the truth. He was, above all, the Redeemer, able to save fallen man through the
divine efficacy of each and every moment of his life on earth.

“Our Lord took on all our weaknesses, which proceed from sin—with the exception
of sin itself. He experienced hunger and thirst, sleep and fatigue, sadness and
tears. He suffered in every possible way, even the supreme suffering of death. No
one could be freed from the bonds of sinfulness had he who alone was totally in-
nocent not been ready to die at the hands of impious men. Therefore, our Savior,
the Son of God, has left all those who believe in him an effective source of aid,
and also an example. The first they obtain by being reborn through grace, the
second by imitating his life” (St Leo the Great, “Twelfth Homily on the Passion”).

Jesus’ redemptive action—his miracles, his life of work, and the mystery of his
death, resurrection and ascension, whose depth and meaning only faith can
plumb—also constitute a simple and powerful stimulus for our everyday conduct.
Faith should always be accompanied by works, by deeds, that is, our humble
and necessary cooperation with God’s saving plans.

“Don’t forget that doing must come before teaching. ‘Coepit facere et docere’, the
holy Scripture says of Jesus Christ: ‘He began to do and to teach. ‘ “First deeds:
so that you and I might learn” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 342).

3. This verse recalls the account in Luke 24:13-43 of the appearances of the risen
Jesus to the disciples of Emmaus and to the Apostles in the Cenacle. It stresses
the figure of forty days. This number may have a literal meaning and also a deeper
meaning. In Sacred Scripture periods of forty days or forty years have a clearly
salvific meaning: they are periods during which God prepares or effects important
stages in his plans. The great flood lasted forty days (Gen 7:17); the Israelites
journeyed in the wilderness for forty years on their way to the promised land (Ps
95:10); Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai to receive God’s revelation of the
Covenant (Ex 24:18); on the strength of the bread sent by God Elisha walked for-
ty days and forty nights to reach his destination (1 Kings 19:8); and our Lord fas-
ted in the wilderness for forty days in preparation for his public life (Mt 4:2).

5. “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit”: this book has been well described
as the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit”. “There is hardly a page in the Acts of the Apos-
tles where we fail to read about the Spirit and the action by which he guides, di-
rects and enlivens the life and work of the early Christian community. It is he who
inspires the preaching of St Peter (cf. Acts 4:8), who strengthens the faith of the
disciples (cf. Acts 4:31), who confirms with his presence the calling of the Gen-
tiles (cf. Acts 10:44-47), who sends Saul and Barnabas to distant lands, where
they will open new paths for the teaching of Jesus (cf. Acts 13:2-4). In a word,
his presence and doctrine are everywhere” (St. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”,
127).

6-8. The Apostles’ question shows that they are still thinking in terms of earthly
restoration of the Davidic dynasty. It would seem that for them —as for many
Jews of their time—eschatological hope in the Kingdom extended no further than
expectation of world-embracing Jewish hegemony.

“It seems to me”, St John Chrysostom comments, “that they had not any clear
notion of the nature of the Kingdom, for the Spirit had not yet instructed them.
Notice that they do not ask when it shall come but ‘Will you at this time restore
the Kingdom to Israel?’, as if the Kingdom were something that lay in the past.
This question shows that they were still attracted by earthly things, though less
than they had been” (”Hom. on Acts”, 2).

Our Lord gives an excellent and encouraging reply, patiently telling them that the
Kingdom is mysterious in character, that it comes when one least expects, and
that they need the help of the Holy Spirit to be able to grasp the teaching they
have received. Jesus does not complain about their obtuseness; he simply cor-
rects their ideas and instructs them.

8. The outline of Acts is given here: the author plans to tell the story of the growth
of the Church, beginning in Jerusalem and spreading through Judea and Samaria
to the ends of the earth. This is the geographical structure of St Luke’s account.
In the Third Gospel Jerusalem was the destination point of Jesus’ public life (which
began in Galilee); here it is the departure point.

The Apostles’ mission extends to the whole world. Underlying this verse we can
see not so much a “geographical” dimension as the universalist aspirations of
the Old Testament, articulated by Isaiah: “It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of
the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow
to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain
of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and
that we may walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word
of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Is 2:2-3).

9. Jesus’ life on earth did not end with his death on the Cross but with his ascen-
sion into heaven. The ascension, reported here, is the last event, the last myste-
ry of our Lord’s life on earth (cf. also 24:50-53)—and also it concerns the origins of
the Church. The ascension scene takes place, so to speak, between heaven and
earth. “Why did a cloud take him out of the Apostles’ sight?”, St John Chrysostom
asks. “The cloud was a sure sign that Jesus had already entered heaven; it was
not a whirlwind or a chariot of fire, as in the case of the prophet Elijah (cf. 2 Kings
2: l 1), but a cloud, which was a symbol of heaven itself” (”Hom. on Acts”, 2). A
cloud features in theophanies—manifestations of God—in both the Old Testament
(cf. Ex 13:22) and the New (cf. Lk 9:34f).

Our Lord’s ascension is one of the actions by which Jesus redeems us from sin
and gives us the new life of grace. It is a redemptive mystery “What we have al-
ready taught of the mystery of his death and resurrection the faithful should deem
not less true of his ascension. For although we owe our redemption and salvation
to the passion of Christ, whose merits opened heaven to the just, yet his ascen-
sion is not only proposed to us as a model, which teaches us to look on high
and ascend in spirit into heaven, but it also imparts to us a divine virtue which
enables us to accomplish what it teaches” (”St Pius V Catechism” I, 7, 9).

Our Lord’s going up into heaven is not simply something which stirs us to lift up
our hearts—as we are invited to do at the preface of the Mass, to seek and love
the “things that are above” (cf. Col 3:1-2); along with the other mysteries of his
life, death and resurrection, Christ’s ascension saves us. “Today we are not only
made possessors of paradise”, St Leo says, “but we have ascended with Christ,
mystically but really, into the highest heaven, and through Christ we have ob-
tained a more ineffable grace than that which we lost through the devil’s envy”
(”First Homily on the Ascension”).

The ascension is the climax of Christ’s exaltation, which was achieved in the first
instance by his resurrection and which—along with his passion and death—const-
itutes the paschal mystery. The Second Vatican Council expresses this as fol-
lows: “Christ our Lord redeemed mankind and gave perfect glory to God [...].
principally by the paschal mystery of his blessed passion, resurrection from the
dead, and glorious ascension” (”Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 5; cf. “Dei Verbum”,
19).

Theology has suggested reasons why it was very appropriate for the glorified Lord
to go up into heaven to be “seated at the right hand of the Father.” “First of all, he
ascended because the glorious kingdom of the highest heavens, not the obscure
abode of this earth, presented a suitable dwelling place for him whose body, rising
from the tomb, was clothed with the glory of immortality. He ascended, however,
not only to possess the throne of glory and the kingdom which he had merited by
his blood, but also to attend to whatever regards our salvation. Again, he ascen-
ded to prove thereby that his kingdom is not of this world” (”St Pius V Catechism”,
I, 7, 5; cf. “Summa Theologiae”, III, q. 57, a. 6).

The ascension marks the point when the celestial world celebrates the victory
and glorification of Christ: “It is fitting that the sacred humanity of Christ should
receive the homage, praise and adoration of all the hierarchies of the Angels and
of all the legions of the blessed in heaven” (St. J. Escriva, “Holy Rosary”, second
glorious mystery).

11. The angels are referring to the Parousia—our Lord’s second coming, when he
will judge the living and the dead. “They said to them, What are you doing here,
looking into heaven? These words are full of solicitude, but they do not proclaim
the second coming of the Savior as imminent. The angels simply assert what is
most important, that is, that Jesus Christ will come again and the confidence
with which we should await his return” (St John Chrysostom, “Hom. on Acts”,
2).

We know for a certainty that Christ will come again at the end of time. We con-
fess this in the Creed as part of our faith. However, we know “neither the day nor
the hour” (Mt 25: 13) of his coming. We do not need to know it. Christ is always
imminent. We must always be on the watch, that is, we should busy ourselves
in the service of God and of others, which is where our sanctification lies.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States


18 posted on 06/05/2011 8:17:06 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Ephesians 1:17-23

Thanksgiving. The Supremacy of Christ (Continuation)


[17] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit
of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, [18] having the eyes of your
hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called
you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, [19] and what
is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the
working of his great might [20] which he accomplished in Christ when he raised
him from the dead and made him sit at the right hand in the heavenly places, [21]
far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name
that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; [22] and he
has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for
the church, [23] which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

17. The God whom St Paul addresses is “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ”, that
is, the God who has revealed himself through Christ and to whom Jesus himself,
as man, prays and asks for help (cf. Lk 22:42). The same God as was described
in the Old Testament as “the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob” is now de-
fined as “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ”. He is the personal God recognized
by his relationship with Christ, his Son, who as mediator of the New Covenant ob-
tains from God the Father everything he asks for. This will be our own experience
too if we are united to Christ, for he promised that “if you ask anything of the
Father, he will give it to you in my name” (Jn 16:23; 15:16).

The founder of Opus Dei reminds us that “Jesus is the way, the mediator. In him
are all things; outside of him is nothing. In Christ, taught by him, we dare to call
Almighty God ‘our Father’: he who created heaven and earth is a loving Father”
(”Christ Is Passing By”, 91).

The Apostle also calls God “the Father of glory”. The glory of God means his
greatness, his power, the infinite richness of his personality, which when it is re-
vealed inspires man with awe. Already, in the history of Israel, God revealed him-
self through his saving actions in favor of his people. Asking God to glorify his
name is the same as asking him to show himself as our Savior and to give us his
gifts. But the greatest manifestation of God’s glory, of his power, was the raising
of Jesus from the dead, and the raising, with him, of the Christian (cf. Rom 6:4;
1 Cor 6:14). In this passage St Paul asks God “the Father of glory” to grant Chris-
tians supernatural wisdom to recognize the greatness of the blessings he has gi-
ven them through his Son; that is, to acknowledge that he is their Father and the
origin of glory. By asking for a “spirit of wisdom and revelation” the Apostle is see-
king special gifts—on the one hand, wisdom, that gift of the Holy Spirit which ena-
bles one to penetrate the mystery of God: “Who has learned thy counsel, unless
thou hast given wisdom and sent thy holy Spirit from on high?” (Wis 9:17). This
wisdom which the Church has been given (cf. Eph l:8) can be communicated to
Christians in a special way, as a special gift or charism of the Holy Spirit. The A-
postle also asks God to give them a spirit “of revelation”, that is, the grace of per-
sonal revelations, such as he himself (cf. 1 Cor 14:6) and other Christians (cf. 1
Cor 14:26) received. It is not a matter of revelation or recognition of new truths,
but rather of special light from the Holy Spirit so as to have a deeper appreciation
of the truth of faith, or of the will of God in a particular situation.

18-19. Along with this deeper knowledge of God, St Paul asks that Christians be
given a fuller and livelier hope, because God and hope are inseparable. He recog-
nizes the faith and charity of the faithful to whom he is writing (cf. 1:15); now he
wants hope to shine more brightly for them; he wants God to enlighten their
minds and make them realize the consequences of their election, their calling, to
be members of the holy people of God, the Church. Hope, therefore, is a gift from
God. “Hope is a supernatural virtue, infused by God into our soul, by which we de-
sire and expect eternal life, promised by God to his servants, and the mean ne-
cessary to obtain it” (”St Pius X Catechism”, 893).

The ground for hope lies in God’s love and power which have been manifested in
the resurrection of Christ. This same power is at work in the Christian. Because
God’s plan for our salvation is an eternal one, he who has called us will lead us
to an immortal life in heaven. The fact that God’s power is at work in us (cf. Rom
5:5) does not mean that we encounter no difficulties. St. Escriva reminds us that
“as we fight this battle, which will last until the day we die, we cannot exclude
the possibility that enemies both within and without may attack with violent force.
As if that were not enough, you may at times be assailed by the memory of your
own past errors, which may have been very many. I tell you now, in God’s name:
do not despair. Should this happen (it need not happen; nor will it usually happen),
then turn it into another motive for uniting yourself more closely to the Lord, for he
has chosen you as his child and he will not abandon you. He has allowed this
trial to befall you so as to have you love him the more and discover even more
clearly his constant protection and love” (”Friends of God”, 214).

20-21. The Apostle is in awe at the marvels which God’s power has worked in
Jesus Christ. He sees Christ as the source and model of our hope. “For, just as
Christ’s life is the model and exemplar of our holiness, so is the glory and exal-
tation of Christ the form and exemplar of our glory and exaltation” (St Thomas
Aquinas, “Commentary on Eph, ad. Ioc”.).

As elsewhere in the New Testament (cf. Acts 7:56; Heb 1:3; 1 Pet 3:22), the fact
that the risen Christ is seated “at the right hand” of the Father means that he
shares in God’s kingly authority. The Apostle is using a comparison with which
people of his time were very familiar — that of the emperor seated on his throne.
The throne has always been the symbol of supreme authority and power. Thus,
the “St Pius V Catechism” explains that being seated at the right hand “does not
imply position or posture of body, but expresses the firm and permanent posses-
sion of royal and supreme power and glory, which he received from the Father”
(I, 7, 3).

Christ’s pre-eminence is absolute: he is Lord of all creation, material as well as
spiritual, earthly as well as heavenly. “All rule and authority and power and do-
minion”: this refers to the angelic spirits (cf. note on Eph 3:10), whom the false
preachers were presenting as superior to Christ. St Paul argues against them:
Jesus Christ at his resurrection was raised by God above all created beings.

22-23. In previous letters St Paul described the Church as a body (cf. Rom 12:
4f; 1 Cor 12:12ff). Here, and in Colossians 1:18, he pursues this comparison and
says that it is the body of Christ, and that Christ is its head. He returns to this
teaching elsewhere in the Captivity Epistles (cf. Col 1:18; Eph 5:23f). The image
of body and head highlights the life-giving and salvific influence of Christ on the
Church, and at the same time emphasizes his supremacy over the Church (cf.
St. Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Eph, ad loc.”, and also the note on Col
1:18). This fact fills Christians with joy: by joining the Church through Baptism,
they have become truly members of our Lord’s body. “No, it is not pride”, Paul
VI says, “ nor arrogance nor obstinacy nor stupidity nor folly that makes us so
sure of being living, genuine members of Christ’s body, the authentic heirs of
his Gospel” (”Ecclesiam Suam”, 33).

This image also reveals Christ’s close union with his Church and his deep love
for her: “he loved her so much”, St John of Avila observes, “that although what
normally happens is that a person raises his arm to take a blow and protect his
head, this blessed Lord, who is the head, put himself forward to receive the blow
of divine justice, and died on the Cross to give life to his body, that is, us. And
after giving us life, through penance and the sacraments, he endows us, defends
and keeps us as something so very much his own, that he is not content with
calling us his servants, friends, brethren or children: the better to show his love
and render us honor, he gives us his name. For, by means of this ineffable union
of Christ the head with the Church his body, he and we are together called ‘Christ”’
(”Audi, Filia”, chap. 84).

The Apostle also describes the Church, the body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 12:12) as
his “fullness” (cf. note on Col 1:19). What he means is that, through the Church,
Christ becomes present in and fills the entire universe and extends to it the fruits
of his redemptive activity. By being the vehicle which Christ uses to distribute his
grace to all, the Church is different from the Israel of the Old Testament: it is not
confined to a particular geographical location.

Because the Church has limitless grace, its call is addressed to all mankind: all
men are invited to attain salvation in Christ. “For many centuries now, the Church
has been spread throughout the world,” St. Escriva comments, “and it numbers
persons of all races and walks of life. But the universality of the Church does not
depend on its geographical extension, even though that is a visible sign and a mo-
tive of credibility. The Church was catholic already at Pentecost; it was born ca-
tholic from the wounded heart of Jesus, as a fire which the Holy Spirit enkindles
[...]. ‘We call it catholic’, writes St Cyril, ‘not only because it is spread throughout
the whole world, from one extreme to the other, but because in a universal way
and without defect it teaches all the dogmas which men ought to know, of both
the visible and the invisible, the celestial and the earthly. Likewise, because it
draws to true worship all types of men, those who govern and those who are ruled,
the learned and the ignorant. And finally, because it cures and makes healthy all
kinds of sins, whether of the soul or of the body, possessing in addition—by what-
ever name it may be called—all the forms of virtue, in deeds and in words and in
every kind of spiritual gift’ (”Catechesis”, 18, 23)” (”In Love with the Church”, 9).

All grace reaches the Church through Christ. The Second Vatican Council reminds
us: “He continually endows his body, that is, the Church, with gifts of ministries
through which, by his power, we serve each other unto salvation so that, carrying
out the truth in love, we may through all things grow into him who is our head”
(”Lumen Gentium”, 7). This is why St Paul calls the Church the “body” of Christ;
and it is in this sense that it is the “fullness” (”pleroma”) of Christ—not because it
in any way fills out or completes Christ but because it is filled with Christ, full of
Christ, forming a single body with him, a single spiritual organism, whose unifying
and life-giving principle is Christ, its head. This demonstrates Christ’s absolute su-
premacy; his unifying and life-giving influence extends from God to Christ, from
Christ to the Church, and from the Church to all men. It is he in fact who fills all
in all (cf. Eph 4:10; Col 1:17-19; 2:9f).

The fact that the Church is the body of Christ is a further reason why we should
love it and serve it. As Pope Pius XII wrote: “To ensure that this genuine and
whole-hearted love will reign in our hearts and grow every day, we must accustom
ourselves to see Christ himself in the Church. For it is indeed Christ who lives in
the Church, and through her teaches, governs and sanctifies; and it is also Christ
who manifests himself in manifold disguise in the various members of his society”
(”Mystici Corporis”, 43).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States


19 posted on 06/05/2011 8:18:00 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 28:16-20

Appearance in Galilee. The Mission to the World


[16] Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus
had directed them. [17] And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some
doubted. [18] And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on
earth has been given to me. [19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
[20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with
you always, to the close of the age.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

16-20. This short passage, which brings to a close the Gospel of St Matthew,
is of great importance. Seeing the risen Christ, the disciples adore him, worship-
ping him as God. This shows that at last they are fully conscious of what, from
much earlier on, they felt in their heart and confessed by their words—that their
Master is the Messiah, the Son of God (cf. Mt 16:18; Jn 1:49). They are over-
come by amazement and joy at the wonder their eyes behold: it seems almost
impossible, were he not before their very eyes. Yet he is completely real, so
their fearful amazement gives way to adoration. The Master addresses them with
the majesty proper to God: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given
to me.” Omnipotence, an attribute belonging exclusively to God, belongs to him:
he is confirming the faith of his worshippers; and he is also telling them that the
authority which he is going to give them to equip them to carry out their mission
to the whole world, derives from his own divine authority.

On hearing him speak these words, we should bear in mind that the authority of
the Church, which is given it for the salvation of mankind, comes directly from
Jesus Christ, and that this authority, in the sphere of faith and morals, is above
any other authority on earth.

The Apostles present on this occasion, and after them their lawful successors,
receive the charge of teaching all nations what Jesus taught by word and work:
he is the only path that leads to God. The Church, and in it all Christian faithful,
have the duty to proclaim until the end of time, by word and example, the faith
that they have received. This mission belongs especially to the successors of
the Apostles, for on them devolves the power to teach with authority, “for, before
Christ ascended to his Father after his resurrection, he [...] entrusted them with
the mission and power to proclaim to mankind what they had heard, what they
had seen with their eyes, what they had looked upon and touched with their
hands, concerning the Word of Life (1 Jn 1: 1). He also entrusted them with the
mission and power to explain with authority what he had taught them, his words
and actions, his signs and commandments. And he gave them the Spirit to fulfill
their mission” (John Paul II, “Catechesi Tradendae”, 1). Therefore, the teachings
of the Pope and of the Bishops united to him should always be accepted by
everyone with assent and obedience.

Here Christ also passes on to the Apostles and their successors the power to
baptize, that is, to receive people into the Church, thereby opening up to them
the way to personal salvation.

The mission which the Church is definitively given here at the end of St Mat-
thew’s Gospel is one of continuing the work of Christ—teaching men and women
the truths concerning God and the duty incumbent on them to identify with these
truths, to make them their own by having constant recourse to the grace of the
sacraments. This mission will endure until the end of time and, to enable it to do
this work, the risen Christ promises to stay with the Church and never leave it.
When Sacred Scripture says that God is with someone, this means that that per-
son will be successful in everything he undertakes. Therefore, the Church, helped
in this way by the presence of its divine Founder, can be confident of never failing
to fulfill its mission down the centuries until the end of time.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States


20 posted on 06/05/2011 8:19:05 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

In some dioceses the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated today. If this applies to you, please reconfigure Universalis to use the appropriate local calendar.


First reading Acts 1:12-14 ©
After Jesus was taken up into heaven the apostles went back from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a sabbath walk; and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. All these joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Psalm Psalm 26:1,4,7-8

Second reading 1 Peter 4:13-16 ©
If you can have some share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, because you will enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed. It is a blessing for you when they insult you for bearing the name of Christ, because it means that you have the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God resting on you. None of you should ever deserve to suffer for being a murderer, a thief, a criminal or an informer; but if anyone of you should suffer for being a Christian, then he is not to be ashamed of it; he should thank God that he has been called one.

Gospel John 17:1-11 ©
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
‘Father, the hour has come:
glorify your Son
so that your Son may glorify you;
and, through the power over all mankind that you have given him,
let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.
And eternal life is this:
to know you,
the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
I have glorified you on earth
and finished the work that you gave me to do.
Now, Father, it is time for you to glorify me
with that glory I had with you
before ever the world was.
I have made your name known
to the men you took from the world to give me.
They were yours and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now at last they know
that all you have given me comes indeed from you;
for I have given them the teaching you gave to me,
and they have truly accepted this, that I came from you,
and have believed that it was you who sent me.
I pray for them;
I am not praying for the world
but for those you have given me,
because they belong to you:
all I have is yours
and all you have is mine,
and in them I am glorified.
I am not in the world any longer,
but they are in the world,
and I am coming to you.’

21 posted on 06/05/2011 8:21:47 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, June 05, 2011
The Ascension of the Lord (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9
Ephesians 1:17-23
Matthew 28:16-20

Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.

-- Simeon at the presentation of Jesus (Lk 2:29-32)



22 posted on 06/05/2011 8:24:21 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

This prayer,  which dates from the twelfth century, is substituted for the Angelus during Easter Season.

 
The Regina Coeli 
 

Glory to God in the highest!

In Latin

In English

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,

R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

R. Amen.

Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.


23 posted on 06/05/2011 8:25:09 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
 
At the Cross, Mary mourns her Son's death.
 
In today's world, Mary mourns the deaths of all the aborted children.
 

24 posted on 06/05/2011 8:26:33 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I did not know that story about the WWII prayer group. I am definitely in on this one.


25 posted on 06/05/2011 10:44:49 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin in 2012)
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To: Bigg Red

Thanks.


26 posted on 06/05/2011 2:11:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Ascension of the Lord: "Space Travel" of the Heart, Biblical Reflection for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

Ascension of the Lord: "Space Travel" of the Heart


Biblical Reflection for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

TORONTO, MAY 31, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Matthew's Gospel for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (28:16-20) presents us the majestic, final scene in Galilee that brings the evangelist's account to a fitting conclusion.

In perfect harmony with his presentation of Jesus, Matthew has chosen to end his Gospel not with a visual or pictorial representation of Jesus' new heavenly power, nor with sharing bread or touching his body, but with a profoundly simple scene featuring the words of Jesus, the great teacher and master (23:8-10). The ascension scene is the goal to which the Gospel tends and a provocative synthesis of its fundamental message.

Today's passage is divided into two parts: the appearance of the risen Christ to the disciples in Galilee (16-18a), as promised in 28:7, and the instructions of Jesus, which conclude the Gospel (18b-20). The disciples go to the mountain Jesus had commanded, a reminder of three earlier mountains: the mountain (5:1-2) where Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7); the high mountain (17:1) where he was transfigured and his passion prediction (16:21) was ratified; and the Mount of Olives (24:3), the location of his eschatological discourse (chapters 24-25).

Matthew's eleven

Let us consider the reality of this small group of apostles and disciples commissioned on the mountain in Galilee. Could any group of people be more human, more ordinary, more dysfunctional, more unpromising? How much more obvious could human frailty be than in this group… in the midst of treachery, cowardice, denial to name but a few of the weak points of those who would become the "pillars" of our Church! Only when the one called "Rock" realized the full significance of his denial would the ministry of church leadership and unity be placed on his shoulders. Two of them, James and John, displayed such naked ambition. Some would ask questions that clearly revealed their profound ignorance of the master's message and life. Such pathetic frailty and brokenness.

Yet, Matthew's Gospel cuts through all of it by telling us that "the eleven disciples" made their way to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. No longer the twelve, that symbolic number that gave them continuity with the long history of Judaism, but the eleven, recalling the tragic defection of Judas Iscariot who would fail miserably. Yet in spite of such blatant humanity and brazen failure, the eleven are entrusted with the dream and mission of the Risen Lord.

A universal mission

In verse 18, the Risen Jesus claims universal power in heaven and on earth. Since this universal power belongs to the Risen Lord, he gives the eleven a mission that is universal. They are to make disciples of all nations. While "all nations" is understood by some scholars as referring only to all Gentiles, it is probable that it included the Jews as well. Baptism is the means of entrance into the community of the Risen One - the Church. The end of Matthew's Gospel also contains the clearest expression in the New Testament of Trinitarian belief. It may have been the baptismal formula of Matthew's church, but primarily it designates the effect of baptism, the union of the one baptized with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In verse 20, Jesus' injunction "to observe all that I have commanded you" refers certainly to the moral teaching found in Matthew's gospel, preeminently that of the Sermon on the Mount (5-7). The commandments of Jesus are the standard of Christian conduct, not the Mosaic law as such, even though some of the Mosaic commandments have been invested with the authority of Jesus.

The words "And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (20) have a special ring to them. They send us back to the beginning of Matthew's account when Jesus is given the name "Emmanuel." In that name we find the answer to humanity's deepest longings for God throughout the ages. Emmanuel is both a prayer and plea (on our behalf) and a promise and declaration on God's part. When we pronounce the word, we are really praying and pleading: "God, be with us!" And when God speaks it, the Almighty, Eternal, Omnipresent Creator of the world is telling us: "I am with you" in Jesus. At the conclusion of the Gospel, the name Emmanuel is alluded to when the Risen Jesus assures his disciples of his continued presence: "I am with you always, until the end of the age" (20). God did indeed keep his promise in Jesus. 

It is the Eucharist that confirms these words "I am with you." Christ said to his Apostles, "Go forth . . . and teach all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." From Christ the way of Christian initiation leads directly to the Eucharist: "I am with you," "I am with every one of you." "I become part of your flesh and blood." "I share your very existence."

Touching the Risen Lord

In his book "Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week -- From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection" (Ignatius Press, 2011), Benedict XVI writes of the mystery of the Ascension of the Lord (p. 286): "The old manner of human companionship and encounter is over. From now on we can touch Jesus only 'with the Father.' Now we can touch him only by ascending. From the Father's perspective, in his communion with the Father, he is accessible and close to us in a new way. This new accessibility presupposes a newness on our part as well. Through Baptism, our life is already hidden with Christ in God -- in our current existence we are already 'raised' with him at the Father's right hand (cf. Col 3:1–3).

"If we enter fully into the essence of our Christian life, then we really do touch the risen Lord, and then we really do become fully ourselves. Touching Christ and ascending belong together. And let us not forget that for John the place of Christ's 'exaltation' is his Cross and that our own ever-necessary 'ascension', our 'going up on high' in order to touch him, has to be traveled in company with the crucified Jesus. Christ, at the Father's right hand, is not far away from us. At most we are far from him, but the path that joins us to one another is open. And this path is not a matter of space travel of a cosmic-geographical nature: it is the 'space travel' of the heart, from the dimension of self-enclosed isolation to the new dimension of world embracing divine love."

"Christ has come so close to us"

Only in his physical separation from the historical scene can Jesus' spiritual union with the entire world for all time be complete.  Jesus left the world one day in order to be available to all people throughout all time. He had to dissolve bonds he had made with his friends, in order to be available for everybody. We move towards heaven to the extent that we approach Jesus.

The words of one of Blessed John Henry Newman's parochial sermons inspire us on this great feast (PPS, vol. 6, no. 10): "Christ's going to the Father is at once a source of sorrow, because it involves His absence; and of joy, because it involves His presence. And out of the doctrine of His resurrection and ascension, spring those Christian paradoxes, often spoken of in Scripture, that we are sorrowing, yet always rejoicing; as having nothing, yet possessing all things (II Cor 6:10).

"This, indeed, is our state at present; we have lost Christ and we have found Him; we see Him not, yet we discern Him. We embrace His feet, yet He says, 'Touch Me not.' How is this? it is thus: we have lost the sensible and conscious perception of Him; we cannot look on Him, hear Him, converse with Him, follow Him from place to place; but we enjoy the spiritual, immaterial, inward, mental, real sight and possession of Him; a possession more real and more present than that which the Apostles had in the days of His flesh, because it is spiritual, because it is invisible."

Christ, the reason for our joy

Finally, Benedict XVI leaves us with a consoling image of the Risen Lord who never leaves us. In "Jesus of Nazareth," he writes: "Because Jesus is with the Father, he has not gone away but remains close to us. Now he is no longer in one particular place in the world as he had been before the 'Ascension': now, through his power over space, he is present and accessible to all -- throughout history and in every place. There is a very beautiful story in the Gospel (Mk 6:45–52 and parallel passages) where Jesus anticipates this kind of closeness during his earthly life and so makes it easier for us to understand.

"After the multiplication of the loaves, the Lord makes the disciples get into the boat and go before him to Bethsaida on the opposite shore, while he himself dismisses the people. He then goes 'up on the mountain' to pray. So the disciples are alone in the boat. There is a headwind, and the lake is turbulent. They are threatened by the power of the waves and the storm. The Lord seems to be far away in prayer on his mountain. But because he is with the Father, he sees them. And because he sees them, he comes to them across the water; he gets into the boat with them and makes it possible for them to continue to their destination.

  1. "This is an image for the time of the Church -- intended also for us. The Lord is 'on the mountain' of the Father. Therefore he sees us. Therefore he can get into the boat of our life at any moment. Therefore we can always call on him; we can always be certain that he sees and hears us. In our own day, too, the boat of the Church travels against the headwind of history through the turbulent ocean of time. Often it looks as if it is bound to sink. But the Lord is there, and he comes at the right moment. 'I go away, and I will come to you' -- that is the essence of Christian trust, the reason for our joy."

[The readings for the Ascension are Acts 1:1-11; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20]

* * *

Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, chief executive officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network in Canada, is a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


27 posted on 06/05/2011 2:20:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY MT 28:16-20
Only Catholics are in heaven?
Fr.Jerry J. Pokorsky

There is an old and rather annoying joke about the devout Protestant who dies and is met by St. Peter at the pearly gates for a tour of heaven. As the tour goes on St. Peter points out all the different denominations, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and so forth. As they come to a certain group way off to themselves, St. Peter draws the man closer and whispers, "Now, for this next group, we need to be really quiet. They are the Catholics and they think they're the only ones here.”

Good jokes are funny because of certain clever contrasts with the truth. But some attempts at humor, like this one, fail because of muddled logic and a distortion of the truth. This joke fails because, verily, there is no need for faith in heaven. The joke takes a needless swipe of the Catholic understanding of the Faith as the “true religion.” A faith and moral doctrines of a religion — or aspects of a religion — are either true or false.

Christ identifies Himself as the “way, the truth and the life.” The early Church was known simply as “the Way.” In every time, the magisterium of the Catholic Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, proclaims “fullness of truth” of Jesus Christ. Every soul upon entering eternity is measured against the definitive revelation of the truth of Christ. In acknowledging the truth of faith, one becomes more accountable, not less.

If the Catholic Faith is true (as Catholics ought to believe), then when the fullness of truth is revealed on the day of judgment to every soul — Catholic or non-Catholic — the Catholic Faith will be validated as true. The same logic (in terms of expectations) holds for anyone who thoughtfully subscribes to any religion. Why would anyone be Lutheran or Muslim or Hindu if he harbored any significant doubts as to the ultimate truth of the religion, a truth that must be definitively validated upon entering eternity?

The insistence that the truths of the Catholic Faith are validated in heaven (and hell, for that matter), upon close inspection, does not suggest that non-Catholics of goodwill cannot be saved. In particular cases it could be argued that a devout non-Catholic is doing the will of the Father more perfectly than many Catholics. Equally consistent with the truth “heaven validates the truths of the Catholic Faith” is to insist that it is beyond our authority and competence to declare the condemnation of this or that person. Christ Himself warns, “Judge not and ye shall not be judged.” Catholics are in the business of proclaiming salvation in Christ, not condemning anyone to hell. One hopes Judas and Hitler and Osama bin Laden — and that good-for-nothing office manager — made it (or will make it) to heaven. But if not, only God knows. And if they fell short of eternal bliss (to use a euphemism), God’s justice is served.

 

Contemplating the reality and prospect of hell is sobering. There are real consequences for willfully avoiding ultimate questions about our existence and the meaning of a good life. Every Catholic, for example, must confront a personal inadequacy in understanding the Catholic Faith. Priests frequently must correct penitents who regularly receive Communion at Mass despite their objective mortal sins: invalid marriages, deliberately missing Mass with an insufficient reason, the usual sexual sins, etc. Day by day, Catholics are obliged to deepen their understanding of the Faith and purify goodwill with the express purpose, at minimum, of avoiding fires of hell.

In this week’s Gospel, Christ asserts before His ascension into heaven, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” If true, the way of Christ is not only worth proclaiming; His way is an imperative. Our reasoning and conclusions may be flawed. Our understanding of our faith may be far too vague. But there is no joke in the demand Christ places on us: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

 

Fr. Pokorsky is pastor of St. Michael Parish in Annandale.


28 posted on 06/05/2011 3:22:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Sacred Page

Friday, June 03, 2011

God Mounts His Throne with Shouts of Joy: The Readings for Ascension Day


In the Diocese of Steubenville, as well as in most of the USA, Ascension Day is observed this Sunday.  I wish the traditional observance on Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter was retained, but reality is what it is.

Therefore, this weekend we will look at the powerful readings for Ascension Day. 

This is an unusual Lord’s Day, in which the “action” of the Feast Day actually takes place in the First Reading.  We typically think of all the narratives of Jesus’ life as recorded in the Gospels, overlooking that Acts records at least two important narratives about the activity of the Resurrected Lord (Acts 1:1-11; also 9:1-8).

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.”

Like most English translations, the one used in Mass does not adequately translate the Greek word sunalizomenos in verse 4.  Above it is rendered “while meeting with them,” but literally it is “while taking salt with them,” which is a Greek idiom meaning “sharing a meal.”  This is the usual meaning of sunalizomenos; the only justification I have seen in the lexicons (e.g. BAGD) for rendering it “spending time with” rather than “eating with” is that “eating with” supposedly doesn’t make sense in the context of Acts 1:4.  On the contrary, I suggest it makes a lot of sense, and is in fact theologically significant in light of Luke 22:16,18, which seem to suggest that Jesus will not eat or drink again until the Kingdom comes.  The fact that he is eating and drinking with them here, is an indication of the arrival of the Kingdom (see also Acts 10:41).

The disciples ask, “Will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?”  Jesus’ response is sometimes taken as a rebuff of the apostles, or a ducking of their question, implying perhaps that what they ask for will only take place in the eschaton.  However, as Scott Hahn has pointed out, it is possible to take the Lord’s response as answering not when but how.  It is the witness (martyria) of the Apostles from “Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, to the ends of the earth” (i.e. the Gentiles)—concentric circles of the ancient Kingdom of David (David’s city, tribe, nation, and vassals, respectively)—that will bring about the new Israel, the Kingdom of God, which is manifest visibly in the world as the Church.

In much of American Christianity, there is the view that we are to expect Jesus to come back and reign over a Jewish kingdom in Israel in the end times—even perhaps to rebuild the stone Temple and restore animal sacrifice.  For this reason, some American Christians treat the modern State of Israel as a quasi-sacred entity that deserves our carte blanche political support.

The Catholic tradition has not and does not endorse this view, and it would seem to represent a retrograde action in salvation history.  Why would we want to return to a Temple of stone when we have the Temple of Christ’s Body, which has now transformed our bodies into his Temple?  Have we not learned the lesson that God does not dwell in temples made by human hands?  Mutatis mutandis, the same points would apply to a political kingdom the size of New Jersey in the Near East.  How would that satisfy, now that the Spirit has been poured into our hearts and reigns in us throughout the world, now that we who are made meek in the Spirit have inherited the earth? (Matt 5:5)

It is often said that Acts is the story of the Church, which is not wrong.  But from beginning (Acts 1:4) to the end (Acts 28:31) Acts is about the kingdom, of which the visible Church is the earthly manifestation.

The Responsorial Psalm is the powerful Psalm 47, whose original historical context must have been a dramatic liturgical procession, perhaps the bringing of the Ark into the sanctuary after battle, or perhaps even an enthronement festival in which the ascension of the Son of David to his throne was seen as mystical representation of the enthronement of YHWH in heaven.  (If so, it would not be the only place in the psalms where the Son of David is “confused” with God himself—see Psalm 45:6 [Hebrew])

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.

The Church sees this Psalm fulfilled, of course, in the Ascension of the Christ and his session “at the right hand of God” (Acts 2:33).

The Second Reading (Eph 1:17-23) continues to focus on the royal authority given to Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David and Son of God:

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

The “principalities, authorities, powers, and dominions” and “names that are named” referred to above indicate spiritual powers, i.e. angels and demons.  Christ has been placed over the entire spiritual hierarchy.  St. Paul says, “he put everything under his feet,” applying Psalm 8:6 to Jesus and providing one of the earliest witnesses to the messianic reading of this important Psalm.  It is Christ’s session above the spiritual hierarchy that gives the co-seated Church (Eph 2:6) power over the demonic realm, exercised quite dramatically in the rite of exorcism (as displayed with many inaccuracies in the recent movie “The Rite”; better to read this) but no less powerfully in the Sacraments, especially (in my view) the Sacrament of Confession, which has great power for spiritual deliverance (discussed here).  Christians are not meant to be pawns of the devil; the devil cannot “make me do it.”  We are to be victorious by wielding the sword of the Spirit of the Risen One. 

The Gospel is the famous “Great Commission” (Matt 28:16-20), often jokingly referred to as the “Great Omission”, in reference to our frequent failures as believers in spreading the Gospel.  Actually, although great human failures have marked the spread of the Church, it still is to be found present and active on every continent, in every nation.  One third of human beings identify as Christians, one sixth as Catholics.  Even from a merely natural perspective of cultural history, the Church is a remarkable and singular phenomena.

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Jesus words in the Great Commission (“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me ...”) reflect the theology of Psalm 2, the Royal Coronation Hymn of the Son of David (“Ask of me and I will make the nations your heritage, the ends of the earth your possession ...”), which is perhaps the most important psalm to the theology of the New Testament.  In any case, let us note that the Commission is not simply to “preach me as Lord and personal Savior,” as admirable as that may be, but it is “to make disciples”—which is a long-term process of formation involving self-denial (it took Jesus three years with the twelve)—and “to baptize,” a reference to the sacramental ministry of the Church.  Finally, the Commission is “to teach them all that I have commanded you,” which seems to refer to a considerably large catechetical undertaking, instructing all the nations in the halakha (interpreted Divine Law) of the Messiah, the Son of David.  In other words, the Great Commission is not satisfied by knocking on doors and passing out tracts—as good as those things may be.  It is a description of the entire mission and action of the Church—evangelistic, sacramental, catechetical.

29 posted on 06/05/2011 3:40:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year A

 -  The Ascension of the Lord

All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me

All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Matthew 28:16-20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Ascension of the Lord - All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me After the glory of the resurrection, I stayed for a while on earth to strengthen the faith of my apostles so that they could begin the work of my Church.

My departure was a solemn moment for me and for those who were present, I was anxious to enter into my eternal glory in my heavenly throne, at the same time I was sad to leave my mother behind and my new daughter, the Church.

For the last time, I confirmed my authority to the apostles, so that they could understand that they had received my power to continue the work of salvation that the Father had sent me to do.

I am immortal, I am omnipotent. My ascension into heaven was done in order for me to return to my heavenly throne after my work of redemption, to reign forever as the Lamb of God, the Christ who died for the forgiveness of sins.

As the head of the Church, and with my omnipotent power I delegated my authority to Peter as I made him the visible head of my mystical body on earth. I commanded him to feed my lambs as a proof of his love for me. He continues my work through my Vicar, the Pope of the Catholic Church.

I am the life of my Church, and my blood is poured out continuously in the Holy Mass in an un-bloody manner so that my faithful may have life from me, through the merits of my sufferings and death.

By my command you are to eat of my flesh and to drink of my blood if you desire to live eternally. By my resurrection I have proved that I am the resurrection and the life, I have the power to let you live forever. By my ascension I have given you a reason to hope to be assumed into heaven after the last day.

Everyone who believes and is baptized will have a secure place in my eternal kingdom. Obey my commandments of love and have great hope in the things that I have promised.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


30 posted on 06/05/2011 4:11:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

In more dioceses than not, the Feast of the Ascension is celebrated this weekend. The liturgist in me regrets the move, but here we are any way. So let’s ascend with the Lord, three days late!

This marvelous feast  is not merely about something that took place two thousand years ago. For, though Christ our head has ascended, we the members of his body are ascending with him. Since he was ascended, we too have ascended. In my own life, as a Christian, I am brought higher every year by the Lord who is drawing me up with him. This is not some mere slogan, but something I am actually experiencing. An old song says, I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore. Very deeply stained with sin, sinking to rise no more. But he master of the sea, heard my despairing cry. And from the waters lifted me. Now safe am I. Love Lifted me, When nothing else could help. Love lifted me!

Yes, the feast of the Lord’s Ascension is our feast too, if we are faithful. Let’s look at it from three perspectives.

I. The Fact of the Ascension. – The readings today describe a wondrous event that the Apostles witnessed. The Lord, by his own power is taken to heaven. In so doing he opens a path for us too. The gates of paradise swing open again: Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in! (Psalm 24:7). In Christ, man returns to God. Consider three things about the Ascension:

A. The Reality – Imagine the glory of this moment. Scripture says, As they were looking on, he was lifted up and cloud took him from their sight….they were looking intently in the sky as he was going (Acts 1:9). So impressive was the sight that the angels had to beckon them to get along to Jerusalem as the Lord had said, Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11). Yes, it was glorious. Jesus had once said as a summons to faith, What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? (John 6:62). He had also encouraged them saying: Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man (John 1:51) So here is a glorious reality, and a fulfillment of what Jesus had said.

B. The Rescue – In the Ascension, it does not seem that the Lord entered heaven alone. As we have remarked, in his mystical body we also ascend with him. But consider too this remarkable text that affirms that: Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men. In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things (Eph 4:8ff). Yes, the Lord had earlier, just after his death, descended to Sheol and awakened the dead and preached the gospel to them (cf 1 Peter 4:6). And now, for those he had justified, came the moment ascend with Jesus as a “host,” as an army of former captives, now set free. Behold the great procession that enters behind Christ through the now opened gates of heaven: Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac Jacob, Rachel, Judith, Deborah, David, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Malachi, John the Baptist….and one day you!  Yes this is a great rescue. Adam and his descendants have not simply been restored to some paradisical garden, they have entered heaven.

C. The Rejoicing – Consider how, this once captive train, sings exultantly as they follow Christ upward to heaven. The liturgy today puts before us a likely song they sang: God mounts his throne to shouts of Joy! The Lord amid trumpet blasts. 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. God reigns over the nations, God sits upon his holy throne (Psalm 47:6-7). I also have it on the best of authority that they were singing an old gospel song: I’m so glad, Jesus lifted me! Yes I also have it on the best of authority that they were even singing an old Motown song: Your love is lifting me higher, than I’ve ever been lifted before!

Yes, Here are some glorious facets of the Ascension.

II. The Fellowship of the Ascension – We have already remarked that, when Christ ascends, we ascend. Why and how? Scripture says, Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it (1 Cor 12:27). It also says, All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. By baptism we were buried together with him so that Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of God the Father, we too might live a new and glorious life. For if we have been united with him by likeness to his death we shall be united with him by likeness to his resurrection (Rom 6:3ff). So, when Christ died we died. When Christ rose, we rose.  When He ascends, we ascend.

But you may say, he is in glory, but I am still here, how is it that I am ascended or ascending? Consider a humorous example about our physical bodies. When I get on an elevator and punch the button for the top floor, the crown of my head gets there before the soles of my feet. But the whole body will get there unless some strange loss of integrity or tragic dismemberment takes place. So in an analogous way it is with Jesus’ Jesus mystical body. In Christ our head we are already in glory. Some members of his body have already gotten there. We who come later will get there too,  provided we stay a member of the Body. Yes we are already ascended in Christ our head. We are already enthroned in glory with him, if we hold fast and stay a member of his Body. This is the fellowship of the Ascension.

III. The Fruitfulness of the Ascension – Jesus does not return to heaven to abandon us. He is more present to us than we are to ourselves. He is with us always to the end of the age (cf Matt 28:20). But in Ascending, without abandoning us, he goes to procure so very important things. Consider four of them:

A. Holy Ghost power – Jesus teaches very clearly that he is ascending in order to send us the Holy Spirit: Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you (Jn 16:7ff) He also says, These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (Jn 14:25ff). And yet again, I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come (Jn 16:13-14). So the Lord goes, that he might, with the Father, send the Holy Spirit to live within us as in a temple. In this way, and through the Eucharist, he will dwell with us even more intimately than when he walked this earth.

B. Harvest – Jesus says, And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me (John 12:32). While the immediate context of this verse is the crucifixion, the wonder of John’s gospel is that is that he often intends double meanings. Clearly Christ’s glorification is his crucifixion, but it also includes his resurrection and ascension. So, from his place in glory, Christ is drawing all people to himself. He is also bestowing grace on us from his Father’s right hand to be his co-workers in the harvest: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). Yes, from his place in glory, Christ is bringing in a great harvest, as he said in Scripture: Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” (Jn 4:35-38). Harvest! And it is the Lord’s work from heaven in which we participate.

C. Help – At the Father’s right hand Jesus intercedes for us. Scripture says, Consequently he is able, for all time, to save those who draw near to God through him, since he lives always to make intercession for them (Heb 7:25). The Lord links his ascension to an unleashing of special power: Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (Jn 14:12).

It is true, we must not understand asking in the name of Jesus as a mere incantation, for to ask in his Name means to ask in accord with his will. And yet, we must come to experience the power of Jesus to draw us up to great and wondrous things in his sight. Despite the mystery of iniquity all about us, we trust that Christ is conquering, even in the puzzling and apparent victories of this world’s rebellion. We read, In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Though, at present we do not see everything subject to him, yet we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor….so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (Heb 2:8-9; 14-15). Thus, from heaven we have the help of the Lord’s grace which, if we will accept it, is an ever present help unto our salvation.

D. Habitation – Simply put, Jesus indicates that in going to heaven he is preparing a place for us: In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (Jn 14:2ff) Yes, indeed,   He has the blueprints out, and a hard hat on. He is overseeing the construction of a mansion for each of us that we may dwell with him, the Father and the Spirit forever.

Here then are the ways that Christ, by his love is lifting us higher, than we’ve ever been lifted before. Yes, love lifted me, when nothing else could help, Love lifted me.

Photo Credit: Hickory Hardscrabble via Creative Commons


31 posted on 06/05/2011 4:16:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

7th Sunday in Easter


Gospel

John 17:1-11

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee,
2 since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
4 I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do;
5 and now, Father, glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.
6 "I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have kept thy word.
7 Now they know that everything that thou hast given me is from thee;
8 for I have given them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from thee; and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9 I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine;
10 all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.


One Main Point

Unity in the love of God.

The central theme of Jesus' prayer in these verses is unity - the unity of present and future disciples, modeled on the intimate relationship of the Father and the Son. The union takes root from the love of the Father and Son, a gift to all disciples. Jesus speaks of the Father in one word "love," the Father's love for Jesus and the Father's love for the disciples. Love is the ultimate revelation of the Gospel. The church is meant to be a community of love, the living sign or the sacrament of the mutual love of the Father and Son.


Interesting Details

The opening words "when Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven" (v.1) link the message of unity to the rest of the discourse. Similar to the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus lifts up his eyes to heaven, seeking the source of his glory.

Jesus' prayer discloses that the nerve-center of his life is a communion and intimacy with his Father. Here, Jesus is aware of being loved by his Father. From that, prayer can be defined as a relationship, a discovery of central focus in life, a loving for intimacy and for communion with God.

Eternal life can be understood as knowing God and knowing Jesus Christ:

  • In Greek, eternal means quality. Eternal life is, therefore, nothing other than the life of God.
  • Old Testament regularly uses "know" to refer to the intimate relationship between husband and wife (Genesis 4:1). It is used here (v.7) to emphasize the oneness between God the Father and Jesus Christ.

"World" is mentioned many times. It is the world of anti-world, the center of disbelief, hatred and unloved, the contrast and contradiction to what Christian living should be.

In Old Testament, "name" is used in a very special way. It does not mean simply the name by which a person is called, tt means the whole character and nature of the person. So, when Jesus says "I have shown forth your name" (v.6), he is saying "I have enable men to see what the mind, the character, the heart of God, or what the real nature of God is."

The frequent recurrence of "Father" in Jesus' prayer recalls the way Jesus taught his disciples how to pray by starting with "Our Father" (Mt 6:9). Jesus' Father is also our Father.

"All that I have is yours, and all that you have is mine" (v.10), the first part of the sentence is natural and easy to understand, for all things belong to God; but the second part is an astonishing claim: Jesus proclaimed his oneness with God.


Reflections

  1. Jesus had confidence in his disciples when he said "In them I am glorified" (v.10). Have you experienced that Jesus also says that to you? Did you glorify him, do you glorify him and are you glorifying him?

  2. Jesus came to the world from God and he returned to God in glory after his death and resurrection. The Cross is a proof of the victory of goodness over evil, for after the Cross is the resurrection. The Cross is then the gateway to glory. Contemplate the cross in your life, and how it would glorify the name of God?

  3. Jesus glorified the Father by choosing the Cross. The Cross is the proof of Jesus' perfect obedience to the Father. Do you think that now, it is our mission to glorify God by following Jesus' perfect obedience?

  4. Jesus voiced his two concerns: his Father's glorification, and the welfare of his disciples and all believers. The fist concern was well fulfilled. The second one is still in progress. Do you understand that Jesus is always concerned for your well-being?

32 posted on 06/05/2011 4:21:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Office of Readings and Invitatory Psalm

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
Eternal Monarch, King most high,
Whose blood hath brought redemption nigh,
By whom the death of death was wrought,
And conquering grace’s battle fought:
Be thou our joy, O mighty Lord,
As thou will be our great reward;
Earth’s joys to thee are nothing worth,
Thou joy and crown of heaven and earth.
To thee we therefore humbly pray
That thou wouldst purge our sins away,
And draw our hearts by cords of grace
To thy celestial dwelling place.
So when the judgement day shall come,
And all must rise to meet their doom,
Thou wilt remit the debts we owe,
And our lost crowns again bestow.
All glory, Lord, to thee we pay,
Ascending o’er the stars today;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete.

Psalm 144 (145)
The greatness and goodness of God
Alleluia. God has raised Christ from the dead and has given him glory. Alleluia.
I will praise you to the heights, O God, my king –
  I will bless your name for ever and for all time.
I will bless you, O God, day after day –
  I will praise your name for ever and all time.
The Lord is great, to him all praise is due –
  he is great beyond measuring.
Generation will pass to generation the praise of your deeds,
  and tell the wonders you have done.
They will tell of your overwhelming power,
  and pass on the tale of your greatness.
They will cry out the story of your great kindness,
  they will celebrate your judgements.
The Lord takes pity, his heart is merciful,
  he is patient and endlessly kind.
The Lord is gentle to all –
  he shows his kindness to all his creation.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Alleluia. God has raised Christ from the dead and has given him glory. Alleluia.

Psalm 144 (145)
Alleluia. Your glory, Lord, reaches beyond the highest heavens. Alleluia.
Let all your creatures proclaim you, O Lord,
  let your chosen ones bless you.
Let them tell of the glory of your reign,
  let them speak of your power –
so that the children of men may know what you can do,
  see the glory of your kingdom and its greatness.
Your kingdom stands firm for all ages,
  your rule lasts for ever and ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Alleluia. Your glory, Lord, reaches beyond the highest heavens. Alleluia.

Psalm 144 (145)
Alleluia. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Alleluia.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
  the Lord is holy in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who are falling,
  the Lord lifts up all who are oppressed.
All look to you for help,
  and you give them their food in due season.
In your goodness you open your hand,
  and give every creature its fill.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
  the Lord is kind in all that he does.
The Lord is near to those who call on him,
  to all those who call on him in truth.
For those that honour him,
  he does what they ask,
  he hears all their prayers,
  and he keeps them safe.
The Lord keeps safe all who love him,
  but he dooms all the wicked to destruction.
My mouth shall tell the praises of the Lord.
Let all flesh bless his holy name,
  for ever and ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Alleluia. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Alleluia.

My body revives, alleluia.
I will freely acknowledge the Lord, alleluia.

Reading 1 John 3:18-24 ©
My children,
our love is not to be just words or mere talk,
but something real and active;
only by this can we be certain
that we are children of the truth
and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise against us,
because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.
Responsory
Whoever keeps his commandments lives in God and God lives in him; and we know that he lives in us by the Spirit that he has given us, alleluia.
God created Wisdom in the Holy Spirit, and poured her out on all mankind; and we know that he lives in us by the Spirit that he has given us, alleluia.

Reading From a homily on the Song of Songs by Saint Gregory of Nyssa, bishop
The glory you gave to me, I have given to them
When love has entirely cast out fear, and fear has been transformed into love, then the unity brought us by our saviour will be fully realised, for all men will be united with one another through their union with the one supreme Good. They will possess the perfection ascribed to the dove, according to our interpretation of the text: One alone is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only child of her mother, her chosen one.
  Our Lord’s words in the gospel bring out the meaning of this text more clearly. After having conferred all power on his disciples by his blessing, he obtained many other gifts for them by his prayer to the Father. Among these was included the greatest gift of all, which was that they were no longer to be divided in their judgement of what was right and good, for they were all to be united to the one supreme Good. As the Apostle says, they were to be bound together with the bonds of peace in the unity that comes from the Holy Spirit. They were to be made one body and one spirit by the one hope to which they were all called. We shall do better, however, to quote the sacred words of the gospel itself. I pray, the Lord says, that they all may be one; that as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so they also may be one in us.
  Now the bond that creates this unity is glory. That the Holy Spirit is called glory no one can deny if he thinks carefully about the Lord’s words: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them. In fact, he gave this glory to his disciples when he said to them: Receive the Holy Spirit. Although he had always possessed it, even before the world existed, he himself received this glory when he put on human nature. Then, when his human nature had been glorified by the Spirit, the glory of the Spirit was passed on to all his kin, beginning with his disciples. This is why he said: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them, so that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, I want them to be perfectly one.
  Whoever has grown from infancy to manhood and attained to spiritual maturity possesses the mastery over his passions and the purity that makes it possible for him to receive the glory of the Spirit. He is that perfect dove upon whom the eyes of the bridegroom rest when he says: One alone is my dove, my perfect one.
Responsory
I do not call you servants any longer. Instead, I call you friends, because you have seen all the mighty works I did among you. Receive the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, whom the Father will send you, alleluia.
You are my friends if you do what I command you. Receive the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, whom the Father will send you, alleluia.

Hymn Te Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  we believe that the Saviour of mankind
  is enthroned with you in majesty.
Listen to our prayer,
  and, according to his promise,
  let us feel his presence among us
  to the end of time.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

33 posted on 06/05/2011 4:31:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Divine Intimacy Devotional

The Holy Spirit and Prayer

Presence of God

O Holy Spirit, Spirit of piety, come and pray in me; come to regulate my filial relations with the heavenly Father.

Meditation

1. Our relations with God are essentially filial ones, trustful and confident, for we are not strangers, but "domestics of God" (Ephesians 2, 19): we belong to God's family. Our prayer then ought to express the feelings of a happy child who enjoys talking heart to heart which his father, and can throw himself into his father's arms with complete abandon. Unfortunately, we are always poor sinners, and the knowledge of our wretchedness and unfaithfulness may paralyse this filial affection, causing a certain fear to arise in our souls, a fear which, sometimes, spontaneously puts on our lips Peter's cry: "Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man" (Luke 5,8). This happens especially when the soul is going through dark periods of struggle, temptations and difficulties, all of which tend to throw it into agitation and confusion, impeding, in spite of its efforts, that confident outpouring of the heart which submerges all its worries in God. Then one day, during prayer, the soul becomes recollected under the influence of a new light which drives away all fear, not a new thought, but an intimate realization of truth never before experienced: God is my Father, I am His child. It is the influence of the gift of piety, set in motion by the Holy Spirit. St Paul speaking to the first Christians told them: "You have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba, Father. For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God" (Romans 8, 15.16). Hence it is the Holy Spirit who infuses into the soul this strong feeling of filial piety, of full confidence in its heavenly Father; furthermore, He Himself, with unspeakable groanings, whispers within it: "Father!" "God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father!" (Galations 4, 6). Thus the soul feels itself transformed, and its relations with God become filial.

2. Interior prayer is intimate converse of the soul with God. But who will teach man, so coarse and earthly minded, the delicacy required to converse intimately with the King of heaven and earth? There will never be a ritual nor a devout book capable of regulating the intimate relations of friendship between the Creator and His creature. But there is one Master, whose ability is fully proportioned to His aim, and whose instruction is within the reach of every Christian soul.

This Master is the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit also helpeth our infirmity, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings" (Roman 8, 26). This is a consoling truth for the soul which feels its powerlessness, its inability to treat with God, its need of a prayer which is fully suitable to the sovereign Majesty, the infinite transcendency of the Most High. This is how the Holy Spirit alternates in the soul sentiments of complete confidence and of profound adoration, of loving friendship and of recognition of God's supreme greatness. He repeats within us: "Pater" and also, "Tu solus Sanctus, Tu solus Dominus, Tu solus Altissimus." Thou alone art holy, Thou alone art God, Thou alone art the Most High. Even when we are in a state of aridity, when our heart is cold and our mind in darkness, the Holy Spirit is praying with us, and we can always offer His prayer to God — prayer that is the truest and the most precious, prayer which will most certainly be heard, because the Holy Spirit cannot inspire sentiments and desires contrary to the divine will, but "He asketh for us according to God" (cf. Ibid 8, 27).

Colloquy

"Come, Holy Spirit, send down from heaven a ray of Your light. Come, Father of the poor; come, Dispenser of gifts; come, Light of hearts! O perfect Comforter, sweet Guest of the soul, delicious refreshment. You are rest in toil, shelter from burning heat, consolation in sorrow! O blessed light! Fill with Your light the depths of my heart! Without Your powerful help, nothing in me is good, nothing is without imperfection. Cleanse what is soiled, water what is dry, heal what is wounded. Soften what is hard, warm what is cold, guide him who has gone astray. Give me, who trust in you, Your seven gifts. Give reward to virtue, save me and bring me to eternal joy" (cf. Sequence of the Holy Spirit)

"Come, Holy Spirit, be my interior Master. Give me a true filial spirit toward our heavenly Father, great confidence in His paternal goodness, total adherence, both active and passive, to His will, and immense gratitude for His graces. Come and advise me in all things, reminding me of all that Jesus said; guide me, take upon Yourself the direction of my whole being, strengthen my weakness, supply for all my deficiencies. Come and fulfil in me my mission of continual prayer, for what would my prayer be worth unless it were inspired and given value by You? 'No man can say: the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost.' O Divine Spirit, pray then in me and through me. I ought to think that it is You who are praying and praising God in me, even when weariness or aridity or distractions prevent me from being recollected. I should remain, then, in a humble attitude of prayer, confident that You will draw from me the praise and glory which I do not know how to give, but which I desire to give to my God." (Sr. Carmela of the Holy Spirit OCD)


34 posted on 06/05/2011 4:33:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Ascension of the Lord

The Ascension of the Lord
Feast Day
Thursday after the sixth Sunday of Easter or on the seventh Sunday of Easter


Christ in Glory
Detail from Disputa dei Sacramento - The Triumph of the Christian Faith
Raphael (ca 1508) Stanza della Segnatura, Apostolic Palace, Vatican


Readings - Hymn


The feast of the Ascension is celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter Sunday*, commemorating the Ascension of Christ into Heaven and His completion of the work of our redemption. The liturgy on this day celebrates the entry of Christ into heaven with our human nature glorified, and the pledge of our glorification with Him. In the past, processions outside the church were held on this day to imitate Christ's leading the Apostles out of the city to the Mount of Olives, and to commemorate the entry of Christ into heaven.

* In some dioceses of the United States, this feast is celebrated on the Seventh Sunday of Easter. See local liturgical calendar.




Readings

This high priest of ours is one who has taken His seat in heaven, on the right hand of that throne where God sits in majesty, monistering now in the sanctuary, in that true tabernacle which the Lord, not man, has set up. After all, it is ther very function of a pirest to offer gift and sacrifice.

Hebrews 8:1b:3a
Feast of the Ascension - Prayers for Midday

 

Collect:
God our Father,
make joyful in the ascension of Your Son Jesus Christ.
May we follow Him into the new creation,
for His ascension is our glory and our hope.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

 

First Reading for Mass: Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11 Year A,B,C
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. To them He presented Himself alive after His passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, "you heard from Me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

So when they had come together, they asked Him, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witness in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." And when He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven."


Second Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23 Year A,B,C
Jesus came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Year B Optional Readings: Eph 4:1-13 or Eph 4:1-7, 11-13
Year C Optional Readings: Heb 9:24-28 - 10:19-23


Year A
Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshipped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

Year B
Gospel Reading: Mark 16:15-20
Jesus said to His disciples, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.

Year C
Gospel Reading: Luke 24:46-53
Jesus said to His disciples
, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send 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, and lifting up His hands He blessed them. While He blessed them, He parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.

(Scripture: RSV-CE Ignatius Bible)

Hymn for the Ascension

Hail the day that sees Him rise

Hail the day that sees Him rise, Alleluia!
Glorious to His native skies: Alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals giv'n, Alleluia!
Enters now the highest heav'n! Alleluia

There the glorious triumph waits; Alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates! Alleluia!
Wide unfold the radiant scene; Alleluia!
Take the King of glory in! Alleluia!

See! He lifts His hands above, Alleluia!
See! He shows the prints of love: Alleluia!
Hark! His gracious lips bestow, Alleluia!
Blessings on His Church below. Alleluia!

Lord, beyond our mortal signt, Alleluia!
Raise our hearts to reach Thy height, Alleluia!
There Thy face unclouded see, Alleluia!
Find our heav'n of heav'ns in Thee. Alleluia!

Text: Charles Wesley (1707-88); Melody: Robert Williams (1781-1821)


35 posted on 06/05/2011 4:36:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: All



ACT OF HOPE

O MY GOD, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.  Amen
                                                         ~~~~~~

 


37 posted on 06/05/2011 5:54:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic
Almanac:
 
 
Sunday, June 5
Liturgical Color: White

Today the Church honors the Franciscan Martyrs of China. These missionaries and their converts were victims of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, as Chinese forces tried to wipe out Western influence in their country.

38 posted on 06/05/2011 5:57:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: June 05, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: God our Father, make us joyful in the ascension of your Son Jesus Christ. May we follow him into the new creation, for his ascension is our glory and our hope. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Easter: June 5th 

  Solemnity of the Ascension or the Seventh Sunday of Easter Old Calendar: Sunday After the Ascension of Our Lord

At the end of His earthly life Jesus ascends triumphantly into heaven. The Church acclaims Him in His holy humanity, invited to sit on the Father's right hand and to share His glory. But Christ's Ascension is the pledge of our own. Filled with an immense hope, the Church looks up towards her leader, who precedes her into the heavenly home and takes her with Him in His own person: "for the Son of God, after incorporating in Himself those whom the devil's jealousy had banished from the earthly paradise, ascends again to His Father and takes them with Him" (St. Leo).

The ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and the State of Nebraska have retained the celebration of the Ascension of the Lord on the proper Thursday, while all other provinces have transferred this solemnity to today, the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

We continue the Novena to the Holy Spirit.


The Ascension
Besides the hope and the joyful expectancy of heaven so characteristic of the Ascension feast there is a note of melancholy. Before the final departure of Jesus, the Apostles must have been very much disturbed: each felt the distress of one who sees his dearest friend and companion going away forever, and finds himself alone to face all the difficulties of life. The Lord realized their state of mind and consoled them once more, promising the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter: "He commanded them," we read in the Epistle (Acts 1:1-11), "that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father... you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit, not many days hence." But even this time the Apostles did not understand! How much they needed to be enlightened and transformed by the Holy Spirit, in order to accomplish the great mission which was to be entrusted to them! Jesus continued "You shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me ... even to the uttermost part of the earth." For the moment, however, they were there, around the Master, weak, timid, frightened, like little children watching their mother leave for a distant, unknown land. In fact, "while they looked on, He was raised up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight." Two angels came to distract them from their great amazement and to make them realize what had happened. Then, placing their trust in the word of Jesus, which would henceforth be their only support, they returned to Jerusalem where, in the Cenacle, they awaited in prayer the fulfillment of the promise. It was the first novena in preparation for Pentecost: "All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with ... Mary, the Mother of Jesus" (ibid. 1:14).

Silence, recollection, prayer, peace with our brethren, and union with Mary: these are the characteristics of the novena we too should make in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Excerpted from Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Things to Do:

  • We continue the novena to the Holy Spirit which is said between the feast of the Ascension and Pentecost Sunday.

39 posted on 06/05/2011 6:03:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
Eternal Monarch, King most high,
Whose Blood hath brought redemption nigh,
By whom the death of Death was wrought,
And conquering Grace’s battle fought.
Ascending to the throne of might,
And seated at the Father’s right,
All power in heaven is Jesu’s own,
That here his manhood had not known.
That so, in nature’s triple frame,
Each heavenly and each earthly name,
And things in hell’s abyss abhorred
May bend the knee and own him Lord.
Yea, Angels tremble when they see
How changed is our humanity;
That flesh hath purged what flesh had stained
And God, the Flesh of God, hath reigned.
Be thou our joy and strong defence,
Who art our future recompense;
So shall the light that springs from thee
Be ours through all eternity.

Psalm 92 (93)
The magnificence of the Creator
The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed. Alleluia.
The Lord reigns! He is robed in splendour,
  clothed in glory and wrapped round in might.
He set the earth on its foundations:
  it will not be shaken.
Your throne is secure from the beginning;
  from the beginning of time, Lord, you are.
The rivers have raised, O Lord,
  the rivers have raised their voices.
  The rivers have raised their clamour.
Over the voices of many waters,
  over the powerful swell of the sea,
  you are the Lord, powerful on high.
All your promises are to be trusted:
  and holy is your habitation,
  O Lord, to the end of time.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed. Alleluia.

Canticle Daniel 3
All creatures, bless the Lord
The whole creation will be freed and will enjoy the glory and freedom of the children of God. Alleluia.
Bless the Lord, all his works,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you heavens;
  all his angels, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, you waters above the heavens;
  all his powers, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, sun and moon;
  all stars of the sky, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, rain and dew;
  all you winds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, fire and heat;
  cold and warmth, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, dew and frost;
  ice and cold, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, ice and snow;
  day and night, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, light and darkness;
  lightning and storm-clouds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, all the earth,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, mountains and hills;
  all growing things, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, seas and rivers;
  springs and fountains, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, whales and fish;
  birds of the air, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, wild beasts and tame;
  sons of men, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O Israel,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, his priests;
  all his servants, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the just;
  all who are holy and humble, bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Mishael, bless the Lord,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Let us bless Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
  praise and exalt them for ever.
Bless the Lord in the firmament of heaven,
  praise and glorify him for ever.
The whole creation will be freed and will enjoy the glory and freedom of the children of God. Alleluia.

Psalm 148
An anthem to the Lord, the Creator
The name of the Lord is praised, in heaven and on earth. Alleluia.
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
  praise him in the highest heavens.
Praise him, all his angels;
  praise him, all his powers.
Praise him, sun and moon,
  praise him, all stars that shine.
Praise him, waters of the heavens,
  and all the waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
  for he commanded and they were made.
He set them firm for all ages,
  he made a decree that will last for ever.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
  sea-serpents and depths of the sea,
fire, hail, snow and fog,
  storms and gales that obey his word,
mountains and hills,
  fruit-trees and cedars,
wild beasts and tame,
  serpents and birds.
Kings of the earth, all peoples,
  all leaders and judges of the earth,
young men and women,
  old people with the young –
praise the name of the Lord,
  for his name alone is exalted.
His splendour is above heaven and earth,
  he has raised up the strength of his people.
This song is for all his chosen ones,
  the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The name of the Lord is praised, in heaven and on earth. Alleluia.

Short reading Acts 10:40-43 ©
God raised Jesus to life on the third day and allowed him to be seen, not by the whole people but only by certain witnesses God had chosen beforehand. Now we are those witnesses – we have eaten and drunk with him after his resurrection from the dead – and he has ordered us to proclaim this to his people and to tell them that God has appointed him to judge everyone, alive or dead. It is to him that all the prophets bear this witness: that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven through his name.

Short Responsory
Christ, Son of the living God, take pity on us.
Christ, Son of the living God, take pity on us.
You have risen from the dead.
Christ, Son of the living God, take pity on us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Christ, Son of the living God, take pity on us.

Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
Father, I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do. Alleluia.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation
  in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones,
  his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies
  and all who hate us,
to take pity on our fathers,
  to remember his holy covenant
and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
  that he would give himself to us,
that we could serve him without fear
 – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him,
  for all of our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High:
  for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation,
  so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness,
  who live in the shadow of death;
  to lead our feet in the path of peace.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Father, I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do. Alleluia.

Prayers and Intercessions
With all who have received justification from the Spirit of God, we unite in praise and prayer:
May your Spirit come to our help.
Lord Jesus, may your Spirit guide our actions today:
  may we always walk the path of the children of God.
May your Spirit come to our help.
Through your Spirit, beg the Father
  to make us worthy of your promises.
May your Spirit come to our help.
Make us generous, not fighting for our own rights
  but rather seeking the good of others.
May your Spirit come to our help.
Give us the knowledge of God:
  through the Holy Spirit may we come more and more to know you and the Father.
May your Spirit come to our help.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses,
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Lord God,
  we believe that the Saviour of mankind
  is enthroned with you in majesty.
Listen to our prayer,
  and, according to his promise,
  let us feel his presence among us
  to the end of time.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

AMEN


40 posted on 06/05/2011 6:08:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Acts 1:1-11

The Ascension of the Lord

You will receive power … and you will be my witnesses. (Acts 1:8)

Can you imagine how the apostles must have felt when Jesus made this promise just before he returned to heaven? Surely they would have recalled the fear and intimidation they had felt since the crucifixion. Memories of their having abandoned Jesus were probably still fresh in their minds. How could they even begin to hope that Jesus would give them a share in his power? How could they—weak men that they were—even begin to bring his message to the ends of the earth? But Jesus promised, and he always keeps his promises. In just a few short decades, the apostles did spread the gospel all over the known world!

Little did they know, but Jesus’ promise wasn’t just for them. It was for all people in every age to come. In a sense, Jesus was limited when he walked the earth as a man; he could be in only one place at a time. But now that he was going to heaven, he could send the Spirit to millions of people and work through all of them at the same time. When the Spirit did come on Pentecost, the disciples touched more than three thousand people in one day—and that set off a chain reaction. Day by day, and in the centuries to follow, countless disciples have spread the gospel to every corner of the earth.

Today, we are part of this glorious band of witnesses. Through us, Jesus can bring his kingdom to hurting and lost people all over the world. The power of sin can be pushed back more and more through our witness, our holiness, and our prayer. In homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods everywhere, Jesus can open hearts—through us!

So don’t be afraid to share God’s love. Jesus Christ, the ascended Lord, has given you the very same power that governed his life. And he gave it to you so that you could give it to everyone else.

“Jesus, it is an honor to be called your disciple. I want to see you exalted today as I proclaim your gospel with my lips and with my actions.”


Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47:2-3,6-9; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20)

1. The first reading describes the ascension of the Lord. After Jesus ascends, we hear these words from what are obviously angels: “This Jesus who has been taken up into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” How important to you is Jesus’ second coming? How important should it be? Why?

2. The responsorial psalm provides a foreshadowing of the joy and celebration that may have occurred in heaven upon Jesus’ return. Spend a minute or so in quiet reflection and try to imagine what your first day in heaven would be like. Were you surprised at what thoughts came to your mind?

3. In the second reading, St. Paul prays a powerful prayer for the believers in Ephesus, and for us. The resurrection and ascension of Jesus to the right hand of the Father is part of this prayer. Pray this prayer slowly and meditate on the words as you do. What does this prayer mean to you?

4. The Gospel reading ends with the words that are the very last words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Why should these words fill us with joy, no matter what our current circumstances are? What steps can you take to be more open to Jesus’ presence during the day?

5. In the meditation, we hear these words: “So don’t be afraid to share God’s love. Jesus Christ, the ascended Lord, has given you the very same power that governed his life. And he gave it to you so that you could give it to everyone else.” In what ways have you experienced God’s love and power in your life, and then given it to others? What are the obstacles that hold you back from doing this? How can you overcome them?

6. Take some time now to pray to receive the courage, boldness, and power to be a witness to others of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


41 posted on 06/05/2011 6:19:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim

HOPE, INHERITANCE AND THE GREATNESS OF HIS POWER

(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD, Thursday, June 2, 2011) 

Second Reading: Eph 1:17-23 

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11; Psalms: Ps 47:2-3,6-9, Gospel Reading: Mt 28:16-20

The Scripture Text

The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power in us who believe, according to the working of His great might which He accomplished in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and made Him sit at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and He has put all things under His feet and has made Him the head over all things for the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Eph 1:17-23 RSV) 

Today, on the Feast (Solemnity) of the Ascension, we are invited to rejoice both in Jesus’ victory over sin and death, and in the glorious life that he has secured for us. We also pray today that we would know three specific aspects of the new life that is ours in Christ: “the hope to which He has called” us, “His glorious inheritance in the saints”, and “the immeasurable greatness of His power in us who believe” (Eph 1:18-19). 

As Christians, our hope is secured because it rests in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus has overcome sin forever! Now we can live in freedom and peace, no matter what situations we may face. Reconciled to God, we are no longer strangers or outsiders. Every day, we can live in confidence, knowing that God Himself is with us to strengthen and comfort us. 

Our hope is also founded in the inheritance Jesus won for us – an inheritance that tells us we will be with our Father forever, filled with all His splendor and beauty. In His ascension, Jesus has openend the door to heaven for us. Though we are sinners, we have been forgiven and redeemed. We are now fully loved and accepted as God’s children, and we will live with Him forever. 

As we live every day in the hope of our eternal inheritance, however, we can begin to taste these blessings here and now. This is part of the “immeasurable greatness of His power in us who believe” (Eph 1:19). Before He returned to His Father, Jesus promised His disciples that anyone who believed in Him would be able to cast out demons, heal the sick, and perform signs and wonders in His name: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover  (Mk 16:17-18). How? By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is in our hearts. He is constantly inviting us to yield to Him, and He empowers us to live in the victory of the resurrection. No challenge is too great for a child of God

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, we rejoice today in Your ascension to the Father’s right hand. We thank You for offering us a share in Your heavenly life. By Your Spirit, help us to lay hold of our inheritance in You – the hope, the inheritance, and the power that are the right of every child of God. Amen.


42 posted on 06/05/2011 6:27:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim

A FINAL PRAYER OF JESUS BEFORE HIS PASSION AND DEATH

A biblical reflection on the SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, June 5, 2011) 

Gospel Reading: Jn 17:1-11a 

First Reading: Acts 1:12-14; Psalms: Ps 27:1,4,7-8, Second Reading: 1Pet 4:13-16 

The Scripture Text

When Jesus has spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee, since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou has given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. ‘I glorified Thee on earth, having accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; and now, Father, glorify Thou Me in Thy own presence with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was made.”

“I have manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. Now they know that everything that Thou hast given Me is from Thee; for I have given them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from Thee; and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given me, for they are Thine; all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee.” (Jn 17:1-11a RSV) 

Just before His passion and death on the cross, Jesus offered a final prayer to His Father in heaven. The Gospel of John devotes an entire chapter (Jn 17:1-26) to this prayer, which has come to be known as Jesus’ high priestly prayer of intercession. In this prayer, Jesus prayed for all believers, both present and future. What a privilege it is, 2.000 years later, to read these words and know that Jesus had us in mind as He prayed! By praying through this prayer ourselves, we gain insight both into how Jesus prayed and how He related to His heavenly Father. 

Jesus told His Father that He had now accomplished the work He was sent to do, and that He had made God’s name and character known to those for whom He was sent (Jn 17:6). “Now they know that everything that Thou hast given Me is from Thee; for I have given them the words which Thou gavest Me” (Jn 17:7-8). Jesus’ work on earth was to manifest His Father’s character to His disciples and all believers that were to follow. 

In all four gospels, we constantly read how Jesus spoke about His Father. From Jesus, we come to know the all-loving, all-merciful Father who welcomes us back to Him like the father of the prodigal son (see Lk 15:11-32). Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (Jn 17:3). Even now, in His last moments on earth, Jesus’ primary concern remained that we would come to know our heavenly Father. 

God wanted us to know Him so intimately that He sent His Son to become one of us! From Jesus we learn that our Father is trustworthy, always there for us. He is always ready to welcome us back to Him, even when we have turned our backs on Him. He soothes us, heals us, and beckons us to follow Him. Though He is infinitely greater than us, He invites us in His heart, because His love for us is eternal! He longs for our souls to be reunited with Him. 

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing Your Father to us. Without You, we would be utterly lost and without hope. Help us, Lord, Your sisters and brothers, to reveal the Father to those we come into contact with every day. You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. 


43 posted on 06/05/2011 6:30:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 17
1 THESE things Jesus spoke, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said: Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee. Hæc locutus est Jesus : et sublevatis oculis in cælum, dixit : Pater, venit hora : clarifica Filium tuum, ut Filius tuus clarificet te : ταυτα ελαλησεν ο ιησους και επηρεν τους οφθαλμους αυτου εις τον ουρανον και ειπεν πατερ εληλυθεν η ωρα δοξασον σου τον υιον ινα και ο υιος σου δοξαση σε
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. sicut dedisti ei potestatem omnis carnis, ut omne, quod dedisti ei, det eis vitam æternam. καθως εδωκας αυτω εξουσιαν πασης σαρκος ινα παν ο δεδωκας αυτω δωσει αυτοις ζωην αιωνιον
3 Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Hæc est autem vita æterna : ut cognoscant te, solum Deum verum, et quem misisti Jesum Christum. αυτη δε εστιν η αιωνιος ζωη ινα γινωσκωσιν σε τον μονον αληθινον θεον και ον απεστειλας ιησουν χριστον
4 I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. Ego te clarificavi super terram : opus consummavi, quod dedisti mihi ut faciam : εγω σε εδοξασα επι της γης το εργον ετελειωσα ο δεδωκας μοι ινα ποιησω
5 And now glorify thou me, O Father, with thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world was, with thee. et nunc clarifica me tu, Pater, apud temetipsum, claritate quam habui, prius quam mundus esset, apud te. και νυν δοξασον με συ πατερ παρα σεαυτω τη δοξη η ειχον προ του τον κοσμον ειναι παρα σοι
6 I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world. Thine they were, and to me thou gavest them; and they have kept thy word. Manifestavi nomen tuum hominibus, quos dedisti mihi de mundo : tui erant, et mihi eos dedisti : et sermonem tuum servaverunt. εφανερωσα σου το ονομα τοις ανθρωποις ους δεδωκας μοι εκ του κοσμου σοι ησαν και εμοι αυτους δεδωκας και τον λογον σου τετηρηκασιν
7 Now they have known, that all things which thou hast given me, are from thee: Nunc cognoverunt quia omnia quæ dedisti mihi, abs te sunt : νυν εγνωκαν οτι παντα οσα δεδωκας μοι παρα σου εστιν
8 Because the words which thou gavest me, I have given to them; and they have received them, and have known in very deed that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. quia verba quæ dedisti mihi, dedi eis : et ipsi acceperunt, et cognoverunt vere quia a te exivi, et crediderunt quia tu me misisti. οτι τα ρηματα α δεδωκας μοι δεδωκα αυτοις και αυτοι ελαβον και εγνωσαν αληθως οτι παρα σου εξηλθον και επιστευσαν οτι συ με απεστειλας
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me: because they are thine: Ego pro eis rogo ; non pro mundo rogo, sed pro his quos dedisti mihi : quia tui sunt : εγω περι αυτων ερωτω ου περι του κοσμου ερωτω αλλα περι ων δεδωκας μοι οτι σοι εισιν
10 And all my things are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. et mea omnia tua sunt, et tua mea sunt : et clarificatus sum in eis. και τα εμα παντα σα εστιν και τα σα εμα και δεδοξασμαι εν αυτοις
11 And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are. Et jam non sum in mundo, et hi in mundo sunt, et ego ad te venio. Pater sancte, serva eos in nomine tuo, quos dedisti mihi : ut sint unum, sicut et nos. και ουκετι ειμι εν τω κοσμω και ουτοι εν τω κοσμω εισιν και εγω προς σε ερχομαι πατερ αγιε τηρησον αυτους εν τω ονοματι σου ω δεδωκας μοι ινα ωσιν εν καθως ημεις

44 posted on 06/05/2011 7:01:35 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
1. These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you:
2. As you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him.
3. And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
4. I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do.
5. And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

CHRYS. After having said, In the world you shall have tribulation, our Lord turns from admonition to prayer; thus teaching us in our tribulations to abandon all other things, and flee to God.

BEDE. These things spoke Jesus, those things that He had said at the supper, partly sitting as far as the words, Arise, let us go hence; and thence standing, up to the end of the hymn which now commences, And lifted up His eyes and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Your Son.

CHRYS. He lifted up His eyes to heaven to teach us intentness in our prayers: that we should stand with uplifted eyes, not of the body only, but of the mind.

AUG. Our Lord, in the form of a servant, could have prayed in silence had He pleased; but He remembered that He had not only to pray, but to teach. For not only His discourse, but His prayer also, was for His disciples' edification, yes and for ours who read the same. Father, the hour is come, shows that all time, and every thing that He did or suffered to be done, was at His disposing, Who is not subject to time. Not that we must suppose that this hour came by any fatal necessity, but rather by God's ordering. Away with the notion, that the stars could doom to death the Creator of the stars.

HILARY. He does not say that the day, or the time, but that the hour is come. An hour contains a portion of a day. What was this hour? He was now to be spit upon, scourged, crucified. But the Father glorifies the Son. The sun failed in his course, and with him all the other elements felt that death. The earth trembled under the weight of our Lord hanging on the Cross, and testified that it had not power to hold within it Him who was dying.

The Centurion proclaimed, Truly this was the Son of God. The event answered the prediction. Our Lord had said, Glorify Your Son, testifying that He was not the Son in name only, but properly the Son. Your Son, He said. Many of us are sons of God; but not such is the Son. For He is the proper, true Son by nature, not by adoption, in truth, not in name, by birth, not by creation. Therefore after His glorifying, to the manifestation of the truth there succeeded confession. The Centurion confesses Him to be the true Son of God, that so none of His believers might doubt what one of His persecutors could not deny.

AUG. But if He was glorified by His Passion, how much more by His Resurrection? For His Passion rather showed His humility than His glory. So we must understand, Father, the hour is come, glorify Your Son, to mean, the hour is come for sowing the seed, humility; defer not the fruit, glory.

HILARY. But perhaps this proves weakness in the Son; His waiting to be glorified by one superior to Himself. And who does not confess that the Father is superior, seeing that He Himself said, The Father is greater than I? But beware lest the honor of the Father impair the glory of the Son. It follows: That Your Son also may glorify You. So then the Son is not weak, inasmuch as He gives back in His turn glory for the glory which He receives. This petition for glory to be given and repaid, shows the same divinity to be in both.

AUG. But it is justly asked, how the Son can glorify the Father, when the eternal glory of the Father never experienced abasement in the form of man, and in respect of its own Divine perfection, does not admit of being added to. But among men this glory was less when God was only known in Judea; and therefore the Son glorified the Father, when the Gospel of Christ spread the knowledge of the Father among the Gentiles. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You; i.e. Raise Me from the dead, that by Me You may be known to the whole world.

Then He unfolds further the manner in which the Son glorifies the Father; As You have given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. All flesh signifies all mankind, the part being put for the whole. And this power which is given to Christ by the Father over all flesh, must be understood with reference to His human nature.

HILARY. For being made flesh Himself, He was about to restore eternal life to frail, corporeal, and mortal man.

HILARY. If Christ be God, not begotten, but unbegotten, then let this receiving be thought weakness. But not if His receiving of power signifies His begetting, in which He received what He is. This gift cannot be counted for weakness. For the Father is such in that He gives the Son remains God in that He has received the power of giving eternal life.

CHRYS. He said, You have given Him power over all flesh, to show that His preaching extended not to the Jews only, but to the whole world. But what is all flesh? For all did not believe? So far as lay with Him, all did. If they did not attend to His words, it was not His fault who spoke, but theirs who did not receive.

AUG. He said, As You have given Him power over all flesh, so the Son may glorify You, i.e. make You known to all flesh which You have given Him; for You have so given it to Him, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.

HILARY. And in what eternal life is, He then shows: And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God. To know the only true God is life, but this alone does not constitute life. What else then is added? And Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

HILARY. The Arians hold, that as the Father is the only true, only just, only wise God, the Son has no communion of these attributes; for that which is proper to one, cannot be partaken of by another. And as these are as they think in the Father alone, and not in the Son, they necessarily consider the Son a false and vain God.

HILARY. But it must be clear to every one that the reality of any thing is evidenced by its power. For that is true wheat, which when rising with grain and fenced with ears, and shaken out by the winnowing machine, and ground into corn, and baked into bread, and taken for food, fulfills the nature and function of bread. I ask then wherein the truth of Divinity is wanting to the Son, Who has the nature and virtue of Divinity. For He so made use of the virtue of His nature, as to cause to be things which were not, and to do every thing which seemed good to Him.

HILARY. Because He says, You the only, does He separate Himself from communion and unity with God? He does separate Himself, but that He adds immediately, And Jesus Christ Whom You have sent. For the Catholic faith confesses Christ to be true God, in that it confesses the Father to be the only true God; for natural birth did not introduce any change of nature into the Only-Begotten God.

AUG. Dismissing then the Arians, let us see if we are forced to confess, that by the words, That they may know You to be the only true God, He means us to understand that the Father only is the true God, in such sense as that only the Three together, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are to be called God? Does our Lord's testimony authorize us to say that the Father is the only true God, the Son the only true God, and the Holy Ghost the only true God, and at the same time, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost together, i.e. the Trinity, are not three Gods, but one true God?

AUG. Or is not the order of the words, That they may know You and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent, to be the only true God? the Holy Spirit being necessarily understood, because the Spirit is only the love of the Father and the Son, consubstantial with both. If then the Son so glorifies You as You have given Him power over all flesh, and You have given Him the power, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him, and, This is life eternal, to know You, it follows that He glorifies You by making You known to all whom You have given Him.

Moreover, if the knowledge of God is life eternal, the more advance we make in this knowledge, the more we make in life eternal. But in life eternal we shall never die. Where then there is no death, there will then be perfect knowledge of God; there will God be most glorified, because His glory will be greatest. Glory was defined among the ancients to be fame accompanied with praise.

But if man is praised in dependence on what is said of him, how will God be praised when He shall be seen? as in the Psalm, Blessed are they who dwell in Your house: they will be always praising You. There will be praise of God without end, where will be full knowledge of God. There then shall be heard the everlasting praise of God, for there will there be full knowledge of God, and therefore full glorifying of Him.

AUG. What He said to His servant Moses, I am that I am; this we shall contemplate in the life eternal.

AUG. For when sight has made our faith truth, then eternity shall take possession of and displace our mortality.

AUG. But God is first glorified here, when He is proclaimed, made known to, and believed in, by men: I have glorified You on the earth.

HILARY. This new glory with which our Lord had glorified the Father, does not imply any advancement in Godhead, but refers to the honor received from those who are converted from ignorance to knowledge.

CHRYS, He says, on the earth; for He had been glorified in heaven, both in respect of the glory of His own nature, and of the adoration of the Angels. The glory therefore here spoken of is not that which belongs to His substance, but that which pertains to the worship of man: wherefore it follows, I have finished the work which You gave Me to do.

AUG. Not You command Me, but, You gave Me, implying evidently grace. For what has human nature, even in the Only-Begotten, what it has not received? But how had He finished the work which had been given Him to do, when there yet remained His passion to undergo? He says He has finished it, i.e. He knows for certain that He will.

CHRYS. Or, I have finished, i.e. He had done all His own part, or had done the chief of it, that standing for the whole; (for the root of good was planted:) or He connects Himself with the future, as if it were already present.

HILARY. After which, that we may understand the reward of His obedience, and the mystery of the whole dispensation, He adds, And now glorify Me with the glory with Your own Self, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

AUG. He had said above, Father, the hour is come: glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You: the order of which words shows that the Son was first to be glorified by the Father, that the Father might be glorified by the Son. But now He says, I have glorified You; and now glorify Me, as if He had first glorified the Father, and then asked to be glorified by Him.

We must understand that the first is the order in which one was to succeed the other, but that He afterwards uses a past tense, to express a thing future; the meaning being, I will glorify You on the earth, by finishing the work you have given Me to do: and now, Father, glorify Me, which is quite the same sentence with the first one, except that He adds here the mode in which He is to be glorified; with the glory which I had before the world was, with You.

The order of the words is, The glory which I had with you before the world was. This has been taken by some to mean, that the human nature which was assumed by the Word, would be changed into the Word, that man would be changed into God, or, to speak more correctly, be lost in God. For no one would say that the Word of God would by that change be doubled, or even made at all greater. But we avoid this error, if we take the glory which He had with the Father before the world was, to be the glory which He predestined for Him on earth: (for if we believe Him to be the Son of man, we need not be afraid to say that He was predestined.)

This predestined time of His being glorified, He now saw was arrived, that He might now receive what had been aforetime predestined, He prayed accordingly: And now, Father, glorify Me, &c. i.e. that glory which I had with you by your predestination, it is now time that I should have at your right hand.

HILARY. Or He prayed that that which was mortal, might receive the glory immortal, that the corruption of the flesh might be transformed and absorbed into the incorruption of the Spirit.

6. I have manifested your name unto the men which you gave me out of the world: yours they were, and you gave them me; and they have kept your word.
7. Now they have known that all things whatsoever you have given me are of you.
8. For I have given unto them the words which you gave me: and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from You, and they have believed that you did send me.

CHRYS. Having said, I have finished My work, He shows what kind of work it was, viz. that He should make known the name of God: I have manifested your name unto the men which You gave Me out of the world.

AUG. If He speaks of the disciples only with whom He supped, this has nothing to do with that glorifying of which He spoke above, wherewith the Son glorified the Father; for what glory is it to be known to twelve or eleven men? But if by the men which were given to Him out of the world, He means all those who should believe in Him afterwards, this is without doubt the glory wherewith the Son glorifies the Father; and, I have manifested your name, is the same as what He said before, I have glorified You; the past being put for the future both there and here.

But what follows shows that He is speaking here of those who were already His disciples, not of all who should afterwards believe on Him. At the beginning of His prayer then our Lord is speaking of all believers, all to whom He should make known the Father, thereby glorifying Him: for after saying, that your Son also may glorify You, in strewing how that was to be done, He says, As You have given Him power over all flesh. Now let us hear what He says to the disciples: I have manifested your name to the men which You gave Me out of the world.

Had they not known the name of God then, when they were Jews? We read in the Psalms, In Jewry is God known; His name is great in Israel. I have manifested your name, then must be understood not of the name of God, but of the Father's name, which name could not be manifested without the manifestation of the Son. For God's name, as the God of the whole creation, could not have been entirely unknown to any nation. As the Maker then of the world, He was known among all nations even before the spread of the Gospel.

In Jewry He was known as a God, Who was not to be worshipped with the false gods: but as the Father of that Christ, by whom He took away the sins of the world, His name was unknown; which name Christ now manifests to those whom the Father had given Him out of the world. But how did He manifest it, when the hour had not come of which He said above, The hour comes, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs. We must understand the past to be put for the future.

CHRYS. That He was the Son of the Father, Christ had already manifested to them by words and deeds.

AUG. Which you have given Me out of the world: i.e. who were not of the world. But this they wore by regeneration, not by nature. What is meant by, Yours they were, and you gave them Me? Had ever the Father anything without the Son? God forbid. But the Son of God had that sometimes, which He had not as Son of man; for He had the universe with His Father, while He was still in His mother's womb.

Wherefore by saying, They were Yours, the Son of God does not separate Himself from the Father; but only attributes all His power to Him, from whom he is, and has the same. And you gave them Me, then, means that He had received as man the power to have them; nay, that He Himself had given them to Himself, i.e. Christ as God with the Father, to Christ as man not with the Father. His purpose here is to show His unanimity with the Father, and how that it was the Father's pleasure that they should believe in Him.

BEDE. And they have kept your word. He calls Himself the Word of the Father, because the Father by Him created all things, and because He contains in Himself all words: as if to say, They have committed Me to memory so well, that they never will forget Me.

Or, They have kept your word, i.e. in that they have believed in Me: as it follows, Now they have known that all things whatsoever You have given Me, are of You. Some read, Now I have known, &c. But this cannot be correct. For how could the Son be ignorant of what was the Father's? It is the disciples He is speaking of; as if to say, They have learned that there is nothing in Me alien from You, and that whatever I teach comes from You.

AUG. The Father gave Him all things, when having all things He begat Him.

CHRYS. And whence have they learned? From My words, wherein I taught them that I came forth from You. For this was what He has been laboring to show throughout the whole of the Gospel: For I have given unto them the words which you gave me, and they have received them.

AUG. i.e. have understood and remembered them. For then is a word received, when the mind apprehends it; as it follows, And have known surely that I came out from You. And that none might imagine that that knowledge was one of sight, not of faith, He adds, And they have believed (surely, is understood) that you did send Me. What they believed surely, was what they knew surely; for I came out from You, is the same with, You did send Me.

They believed surely, i. e not as He said above they believed, but surely, i.e. as they were about to believe firmly, steadily, unwaveringly: never any more to be scattered to their own, and leave Christ The disciples as yet et were not such as He describes them to be in the past tense, meaning such as they were to be when the, had received the Holy Ghost.

The question how the Father gave those words to the Son, is easier to solve, if we suppose Him to have received them from the Father as Son of man. But if we understand it to be as the Begotten of the Father, let there be no time supposed previous to His having them, as if He once existed without them: for whatever God the Father gave God the Son, He gave in begetting.

9. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me; for they are yours.
10. And all mine are yours, and yours are mine and I am glorified in them.
11. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one, as we are.

CHRYS. As the disciples were still sad in spite of all our Lord's consolations, henceforth He addresses Himself to the Father to show the love which He had for them; I pray for them; He not only gives them what He has of His own, but entreats another for them, as a still further proof of His love.

AUG. When He adds, I pray not for the world, by the world He means those who live according to the lust of the world, and have not the lot to be chosen by grace out of the world, as those had for whom He prayed: But for them which you have given Me. It was because the Father had given Him them, that they did not belong to the world. Nor yet had the Father, in giving them to the Son, lost what He had given: For they are Yours.

CHRYS. He often repeats, you have given Me, to impress on them that it was all according to the Father's will, and that He did not come to rob another, but to take unto Him His own. Then to show them that this power had not been lately received from the Father, He adds, And all Yours, and Yours are Mine: as if to say, Let no one, hearing Me say, Them which You have given Me, suppose that they are separated from the Father; for Mine are His: nor because I said, They are Yours, suppose that they are separate from Me: for whatever is His is Mine.

AUG. It is sufficiently apparent from hence, that all things which the Father has, the Only-Begotten Son has; has in that He is God, born from the Father, and equal with the Father; not in the sense in which the elder son is told, All that I have is yours. For all there means all creatures below the holy rational creature, but here it means the very rational creature itself, which is only subjected to God. Since this is God the Father's, it could not at the same time be God the Son's, unless the Son were equal to the Father. For it is impossible that saints, of whom this is said, should be the property of any one, except Him who created and sanctified them. Who He says above in speaking of the Holy Spirit, All things that the Father has are Mine, He means all things which pertain to the divinity of the [Father; for He adds, He (the Holy Ghost) shall receive of Mine; and the Holy Ghost would not receive from a creature which was subject to the Father and the Son.

CHRYS. Then He gives proof of this, I am glorified in them. If they glorify Me, believing in Me and You, it is certain that I have power over them: for no one is glorified by those amongst whom he has no power.

AUG. He speaks of this as already done, meaning that it was as predestined, and sure to be. But is this the glorifying of which He speaks above, And now, O Father, glorify you Me with Your own Self? If then with Yourself, what means here, In them? Perhaps that this very thing, i.e. His glory with the Father, was made known to them, and through them to all that believe.

CHRYS. And now I am no more in the world: i.e. though I no longer appear in the flesh, I am glorified by those who die for Me, as for the Father, and preach Me as the Father.

AUG. At the time at which He was speaking, both were still in the world. Yet we must not understand, I am no more in the world, metaphorically of the heart and life; for could there ever have been a time when hen He loved the things of the world? It remains then that He means that He was not in the world, as He had been before; i.e. that He was soon going away. Do we not say every day, when any one is going to leave us, or going to die, such an one is gone? This is shown to be the sense by what follows; for He adds, And now I come to You. And then He commends to His Father those whom He was about to leave: Holy Father, keep through Your own name those whom you have given Me. As man He prays God for His disciples, whom He received from God. But mark what follows: That they may be one, as We are: He does not say, That they may be one with us, We are one: but, that they may be one: that they may b one in their nature, as We are one in Ours. For, in that He was God and man in one person as man He prayed, as God He was one with Him to Whom He prayed.

AUG. He does not say, That I and they maybe one, though He might have said so in the sense, that He was the head of the Church, and the Church His body; not one thing, but one person: the head and the body being one Christ. But strewing something else, viz. that His divinity is consubstantial With the Father, He prays that His people may in like manner be one; but one in Christ, not only by the same nature, in which mortal man is made equal to the Angels, but also by the same will, agreeing most entirely in the same mind, and melted into one Spirit by the fire of love. This is the meaning of, That they may be one as We are: viz. that as the Father and the Son are one not only by equality of substance, but also in will, so they, between whom and God the Son is Mediator, may be one not only by the union of nature, but by the union of love.

Catena Aurea John 17
45 posted on 06/05/2011 7:02:04 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Conjectural reconstruction of the Maestà (1308-11), front
Digitized reconstruction of panels


46 posted on 06/05/2011 7:02:56 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 28
16 And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. Undecim autem discipuli abierunt in Galilæam in montem ubi consituerat illis Jesus. οι δε ενδεκα μαθηται επορευθησαν εις την γαλιλαιαν εις το ορος ου εταξατο αυτοις ο ιησους
17 And seeing them they adored: but some doubted. Et videntes eum adoraverunt : quidam autem dubitaverunt. και ιδοντες αυτον προσεκυνησαν αυτω οι δε εδιστασαν
18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Et accedens Jesus locutus est eis, dicens : Data est mihi omnis potestas in cælo et in terra : και προσελθων ο ιησους ελαλησεν αυτοις λεγων εδοθη μοι πασα εξουσια εν ουρανω και επι γης
19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. euntes ergo docete omnes gentes : baptizantes eos in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti : πορευθεντες μαθητευσατε παντα τα εθνη βαπτιζοντες αυτους εις το ονομα του πατρος και του υιου και του αγιου πνευματος
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. docentes eos servare omnia quæcumque mandavi vobis : et ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus, usque ad consummationem sæculi. διδασκοντες αυτους τηρειν παντα οσα ενετειλαμην υμιν και ιδου εγω μεθ υμων ειμι πασας τας ημερας εως της συντελειας του αιωνος αμην

47 posted on 06/05/2011 7:07:03 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
16. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.
19. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

BEDE; When Saint Matthew has vindicated the Lord's resurrection as declared by the Angel, he relates the vision of the Lord which the disciples had, Then the eleven disciples went into Galilee into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. For when coming to His Passion the Lord had said to His disciples, After I am risen I will go before you into Galilee; and the Angel said the same to the women. Therefore the disciples obey the command of their Master. Eleven only go, for one had already perished.

JEROME; After His Resurrection, Jesus is seen and worshipped in the mountain in Galilee; though some doubt, their doubting confirms our faith.

REMIG. This is more fully told by Luke; how when the Lord after the Resurrection appeared to the disciples, in their terror they thought they saw a spirit.

BEDE. The Lord appeared to them in the mountain to signify, that His Body which at His Birth He had taken of the common dust of the human race, He had by His Resurrection exalted above all earthly things; and to teach the faithful that if they desire there to see the height of His Resurrection, they must endeavor here to pass from low pleasures to high desires. And He goes before His disciples into Galilee, because Christ is risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that slept. And they that are Christ's follow Him, and pass in their order from death to life, contemplating Him as He appears with His proper Divinity. And it agrees with this that Galilee is interpreted 'revelation.'

AUG. But it is to be considered, how the Lord could be seen bodily in Galilee. For that it was not the day of the Resurrection is manifest; for He was seen that day in Jerusalem in the beginning of the night, as Luke and John evidently agree. Nor was it in the eight following days, after which John says that the Lord appeared to His disciples, and when Thomas first saw Him, who had not seen Him on the day of the Resurrection. For if within these eight days the eleven had seen Him on a mountain in Galilee, Thomas, who was one of the eleven, could not have seen Him first after the eight days. Unless it be said, that the eleven there spoken of were eleven out of the general body of the disciples, and not the eleven Apostles.

But there is another difficulty. John having related that the Lord was seen not in the mountain, but at the sea of Tiberias, by seven who were fishing, adds, This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples after he was risen from the dead. So that if we understand the Lord to have been seen within those eight days by eleven of the disciples, this manifestation at the sea of Tiberias will be the fourth, and not the third, appearance. Indeed, to understand John's account at all it must be observed, that he computes not each appearance, but each day on which Jesus appeared, though He may have appeared more than once on the same day; as He did three times on the day of His Resurrection. We are then obliged to understand that this appearance to the eleven disciples on the mountain in Galilee took place last of all. In the four Evangelists we find in all ten distinct appearances of Our Lord after His Resurrection.

1. At the sepulcher to the women.
2. To the same women on their way back from the sepulcher.
3. To Peter.
4. To two disciples as they went into the country.
5. To many together in Jerusalem;
6. when Thomas was not with them.
7. At the sea of Tiberias.
8. At the mountain in Galilee, according to Matthew.
9. To the eleven as they sat at meat, because they should not again eat with Him upon earth, related by Mark.
10. On the day of His Ascension, no longer on the earth, but raised aloft in a cloud, as related by both Mark and Luke.

But all is not written, as John confesses, for He had much conversation with them during forty days before His ascension, being seen of them, and speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

REMIG. The disciples then, when they saw Him, knew the Lord; and worshipped Him, bowing their faces to the ground. And He their affectionate and merciful Master, that He might take away all doubtfulness from their hearts, coming to them, strengthened them in their belief; as it follows, And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.

JEROME; Power is given to Him, Who but a little before was crucified, Who was buried, but Who afterwards rose again.

BEDE; This He speaks not from the Deity co-eternal with the Father, but from the Humanity which He took upon Him, according to which He was made a little lower than the Angels.

CHRYSOL The Son of God conveyed to the Son of the Virgin, the God to the Man, the Deity to the Flesh, that which He had ever together with the Father.

JEROME; Power is given in heaven and in earth, that He who before reigned in heaven should now reign on earth by the faith of the believers.

REMIG. What the Psalmist says of the Lord at His rising again, You made him to have dominion over the works of your hands, this the Lord now says of Himself, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. And here it is to be noted, that even before His resurrection the Angels knew that they were subjected to the man Christ.

Christ then desiring that it should be also known to men that all power w as committed to Him in heaven and in earth, sent preachers to make known the word of life to all nations; whence it follows, Go you therefore, and teach all nations.

BEDE; He who before His Passion had said, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, now, when rising from the dead, says, Go and teach all nations. Hereby let the Jews be put to silence, who say that Christ's coming is to be for their salvation only. Let the Donatists also blush, who, desiring to confine Christ to one place, have said that He is in Africa only, and not in other countries.

JEROME; They first then teach all nations, and when taught dip them in water. For it may not be that the body receive the sacrament of Baptism, unless the soul first receive the truth of the Faith. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that they whose Godhead is one should be conferred at once, to name this Trinity, being to name One God.

CHRYSOL. Thus all nations are created a second time to salvation by that one and the same Power, which created them to being.

JEROME; And though some one there may be of so averse a spirit as to undertake to baptize in such sort as to omit one of these names, therein contradicting Christ. Who ordained this for a law, his baptism will effect nothing; those who are baptized by him will not be at all delivered from their sins. From these words we gather how undivided is the substance of the Trinity, that the Father is verily the Father of the Son, and the Son verily the Son of the Father, and the Holy Spirit the Spirit of both the Father and the Son, and also the Spirit of wisdom and of truth, that is, of the Son of God. This then is the salvation of them that believe, and in this Trinity is wrought the perfect communication of ecclesiastical discipline.

HILARY. For what part of the salvation of men is there that is not contained in this Sacrament? All things are full and perfect, as proceeding from Him who is full and perfect. The nature of His relation is expressed in the title Father; but He e is nothing but Father; for not after the manner of men does He derive from somewhat else that He is Father, being Himself Unbegotten, Eternal, and having the source of His being in Himself, known to none, save the Son. The Son is the Offspring of the Unbegotten, One of the One, True of the True, Living of the Living, Perfect of the Perfect, Strength of Strength, Wisdom of Wisdom, Glory of Glory; the Image of the Unseen God, the Form of the Unbegotten Father. Neither can the Holy Spirit be separated from the confession of the Father and the Son. And this consolation of our longing desires is absent from no place.

He is the pledge of our hope in the effects of His gifts, He is the light of our minds, He shines in our souls. These things as the heretics cannot change, they introduce into them their human explanations. As Sabellius who identifies the Father with the Son, thinking the distinction to be made rather in name than in person, and setting forth one and the same Person as both Father ether and Son. As Ebion, who deriving the beginning of His existence from Mary, makes Him not Man of God, but God of man. As the Arians, who derive the form, the power, and the wisdom of God out of nothing, and in time. What wonder then that men should have diverse opinions about the Holy Spirit, who thus rashly after their own pleasure create and change the Son, by whom that Spirit is bestowed?

JEROME; Observe the order of these injunctions. He bids the Apostles first to teach all nations, then to wash them with the sacrament of faith, and after faith and baptism then to teach them what things they ought to observe; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.

RABAN. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

CHRYS. And because what He had laid upon them was great, therefore to exalt their spirits He adds, And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. As much as to say, Tell Me not of the difficulty of these things, seeing I am with you, Who can make all things easy. A like promise He often made to the Prophets in the Old Testament, to Jeremiah who pleaded his youth, to Moses, and to Ezekiel, when they would have shunned the office imposed upon them. And not with them only does He say that He will be, but with all who shall believe after them. For the Apostles were not to continue till the end of the world, but He says this to the faithful as to one body.

RABAN. Hence we understand that to the end of the world shall not be wanting those who shall be worthy of the Divine indwelling.

CHRYS. He brings before them the end of the world, that He may the more draw them on, and that they may not look merely to present inconveniences, but to the infinite goods to come. As much as to say, The grievous things which you shall undergo, terminate with this present life, seeing that even this world shall come to an end, but the good things which you shall enjoy endure for ever.

BEDE; It is made a question how He says here, I am with you, when we read elsewhere that He said, I go to him that sent me. What is said of His human nature is distinct from what is said of His divine nature. He is going to His Father in His human nature, He abides with His disciples in that form in which He is equal with the Father. When He says, to the end of the world, He expresses the infinite by the finite; for He who remains in this present world with His elect, protecting them, the same will continue with them after the end, rewarding them.

JEROME; He then who promises that He will be with His disciples to the end of the world, shows both that they shall live for ever, and that He will never depart from those that believe.

LEO; For by ascending into heaven He does not desert His adopted; but from above strengthens to endurance, those whom He invites upwards to glory.

Of which glory may Christ make us partakers,
Who is the King of glory,
God blessed for ever,
AMEN.


Catena Aurea Matthew 28
48 posted on 06/05/2011 7:07:33 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


Laudario of the Compagnia di Sant'Agnese

Pacino di Bonaguida

1320s
Tempera and gold on parchment, 444 x 318 mm
Private collection


49 posted on 06/05/2011 7:10:09 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman

Daily Marriage Tip for June 5, 2011:

“Everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine” (John 17:9). Although Jesus was addressing his Father with these words, they also apply to married couples. Are there any possessions that you are reluctant to share with your beloved?


50 posted on 06/05/2011 7:56:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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