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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 05-20-12, Solemnity, Ascension of the Lord
USCCB.org/New American Bible ^ | 05-20-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 05/19/2012 3:14:08 PM PDT by Salvation

May 20, 2012

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

 

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 them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for "the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

When they had gathered together they asked him,
"Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth."
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, "Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."

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

R. (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 2 Eph 1:17-23

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.

or Eph 4:1-13

Brothers and sisters,
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit
through the bond of peace:
one body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ's gift.
Therefore, it says:
He ascended on high and took prisoners captive;
he gave gifts to men.
What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended
into the lower regions of the earth?
The one who descended is also the one who ascended
far above all the heavens,
that he might fill all things.

And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature to manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ.

or Eph 4:1-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters,
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the calling
you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace:
one body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your calling;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ's gift.

And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature to manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ.

Gospel Mk 16:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: brokencaucus; catholic; prayer; saints
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1 posted on 05/19/2012 3:14:14 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
Or, if you celebrated Ascension Thursday (sigh) then you will hear these readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 20, 2012

Seventh Sunday of Easter

 

Reading 1 Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26

Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers
--there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place --.
He said, "My brothers,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
He was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.

"For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
May another take his office.

"Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men
who accompanied us the whole time
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection."
So they proposed two, Judas called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
"You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place."
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the eleven apostles.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20

R.(19a) The Lord has set his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord has set his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord has set his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.
R. The Lord has set his throne in heaven.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 Jn 4:11-16

Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us,
that he has given us of his Spirit.
Moreover, we have seen and testify
that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.
Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God remains in him and he in God.
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love
remains in God and God in him.

Gospel Jn 17:11b-19

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
"Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth."

2 posted on 05/19/2012 3:16:30 PM 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; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

3 posted on 05/19/2012 3:26:53 PM 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
2:11), 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.


4 posted on 05/19/2012 3:26:56 PM 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 1:8) 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.


5 posted on 05/19/2012 3:28:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Ephesians 4:1-13 (or 1-7, 11-13)

A Call to Unity


[1] I therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling
to which you have been called, [2] with all lowliness and meekness, with pa-
tience, forbearing one another in love, [3] eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace. [4] There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were
called to the one hope that belongs to your call, [5] one Lord, one faith, one bap-
tism, [6] one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.
[7] But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
[8] Therefore it is said,
“When he ascended on high he led a
host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
[9] (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended
into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is he who also ascended
far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) [11] And his gifts were that
some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and
teachers, [12] for the equipment of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for buil-
ding up the body of Christ, [13] until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of
the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the sta-
ture of the fullness of Christ.

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

1-16. The second part of the letter points out certain practical consequences of
the teaching given earlier. The underlying theme of the previous chapters was the
revelation of the “mystery” of Christ — the calling of all men, Gentiles and Jews,
to form a single people, the Church. The second part of the letter begins with an
appeal to maintain the unity of the Church in the face of factors making for division
— internal discord (vv. 1-3), misuse of the different gifts or charisms with which
Christ endows individuals (v. 7), and the danger of being led astray by heretical
ideas (v. 14). Against this, St Paul teaches that the Church’s unity is grounded
on the oneness of God (vv. 4-6), and that Christ acts with full authority in the buil-
ding up of his body, through its various ministries (vv. 8-13) and through its mem-
bers’ solidarity (vv. 14-16).

1. The exhortation begins by stating a general principle: a Christian’s conduct
should be consistent with the calling he has received from God.

Enormous consequences flow from the fact of being called to form part of the
Church through Baptism: “Being members of a holy nation,” St. Escriva says,
“all the faithful have received a call to holiness, and they must strive to respond
to grace and to be personally holy [...]. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who founds the
holy Church, expects the members of this people to strive continually to acquire
holiness. Not all respond loyally to his call. And in the spouse of Christ there are
seen, at one and the same time, both the marvel of the way of salvation and the
shortcomings of those who take up that way” (”In Love with the Church”, 5-6).

Speaking about incorporation into the Church, which is the way of salvation, Va-
tican II exhorts Catholics to “remember that their exalted condition results, not
from their own merits, but from the grace of Christ. If they fail to respond in
thought, word and deed to that grace, not only shall they not be saved, but they
shall be the more severely judged (see Lk 12:48: ‘everyone to whom much is gi-
ven, of him will much be required’; cf. Mt 5:19-20; 7:21-22; 25:41-46; Jas 2:14)”
(”Lumen Gentium”, 14).

2-3. The virtues which the Apostle lists here are all different aspects of charity
which “binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14) and is the mark
of the true disciple of Christ (cf. Jn 13:35). Charity originates not in man but in
God: “it is a supernatural virtue infused by God into our soul by which we love
God above everything else for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for
love of God” (”St Pius X Catechism”, 898). In its decree on ecumenism the Se-
cond Vatican Council shows the perennial relevance of these words of St Paul:
“There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without interior conversion.
For it is from interior renewal of mind (cf. Eph 4:23), from self-denial and unstin-
ted love, that desires of unity take their rise and develop in a mature way. We
should therefore pray to the Holy Spirit for the grace to be genuinely self-
denying, humble, gentle in the service of others and to have an attitude of bro-
therly generosity toward them” (”Unitatis Redintegratio”, 7).

Charity is basic to the building up of a peaceful human society. ‘The conscious-
ness of being trespassers against each other goes hand in hand with the call to
fraternal solidarity, which St Paul expressed in his concise exhortation to ‘forbear
one another in love’. What a lesson of humility is to be found here with regard to
man, with regard both to one’s neighbor and to oneself! What a school of good
will for daily living, in the various conditions of our existence!” (Bl. John Paul II,
“Dives In Misericordia”, 14).

The peace which unites Christians is the peace which Christ brings, or rather
it is Christ himself (cf. 2:14). By having the same faith and the same Spirit, “all
find themselves”, says St John Chrysostom, “brought together in the Church —
old and young, poor and rich, adult and child, husband and wife: people of either
sex and of every condition become one and the same, more closely united than
the parts of a single body, for the unity of souls is more intimate and more per-
fect than that of any natural substance. However, this unity is maintained only
by ‘the bond of peace’. It could not exist in the midst of disorder and enmity....
This is a bond which does not restrict us, which unites us closely to one another
and does not overwhelm us: it expands our heart and gives us greater joy than
we could ever have if we were unattached. He who is strong is linked to the wea-
ker one to carry him and prevent him from falling and collapsing. Does the weak
person feel weak?: the stronger person tries to build up his strength. ‘A brother
helped is like a strong city’, says the wise man (Prov 18: 19)” (”Hom. on Eph,
9, ad loc”.).

Union of hearts, affections and intentions is the result of the action of the Holy
Spirit in souls, and it makes for effectiveness and strength in apostolate.

“Do you see? One strand of wire entwined with another, many woven tightly to-
gether, form that cable strong enough to lift huge weights.

“You and your brothers, with wills united to carry out God’s will, can overcome
all obstacles” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 480).

4-6. To show the importance of unity in the Church, and the theological basis of
that unity, St Paul quotes an acclamation which may well have been taken from
early Christian baptismal liturgy. It implies that the unity of the Church derives
from the unicity of the divine essence. The text also reflects the three persons
of the Blessed Trinity who are at work in the Church and who keep it together —
one Spirit, one Lord, one God and Father.

There is “only one” Holy Spirit, who brings about and maintains the unity of
Christ’s mystical body; and there is “only one” such body, the Church: “After
being lifted up on the cross and glorified, the Lord Jesus pours forth the Spirit
whom he had promised, and through whom he has called and gathered together
the people of the New Covenant, which is the Church, into a unity of faith, hope
and charity, as the Apostle teaches us (Eph 4:4-5; Gal 3:27-28) [...] It is the Ho-
ly Spirit, dwelling in believers and pervading and ruling over the entire Church,
who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them toge-
ther so intimately in Christ, for he [the Spirit] is the principle of the Church’s uni-
ty” (Vatican II, “Unitatis Redintegratio”, 2). All — Gentiles as well as Jews — are
called to join this Church; all, therefore, share the one single hope — that of be-
ing saints which is implied in the vocation they have received.

Recognition of there being only one Lord, who is head of the mystical body, un-
derlines the unity that should obtain among all the many members of this single
body. All its members are solidly built on Christ when they confess “only one”
faith — the faith that he taught and which the Apostles and the Church have ex-
pressed in clear statements of doctrine and dogma. “There can be only one faith;
and so, if a person refuses to listen to the Church, he should be considered, so
the Lord commands, as a heathen and a publican (cf. Mt 18:17)” (Pius XII, “Mys-
tici Corporis”, 10). All Christians have also received only one Baptism, that is,
a Baptism by means of which, after making a profession of faith, they join the
other members of the Church as their equals. Since there is only “one Lord, one
faith, one baptism,” “there is a common dignity of members deriving from their
rebirth in Christ, a common grace as sons, a common vocation to perfection,
one salvation, one hope and undivided charity. In Christ and in the Church there
is, then, no inequality arising from race or nationality, social condition or sex,
for ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; there is nei-
ther male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Gal 3:28; cf. Col 3:11)”
(Vatican II,”Lumen Gentium”, 32).

God, the Father of all, is, in the last analysis, the basis of the natural unity of
mankind. Pope Pius XII, after recalling that the sacred books tell us that all the
rest of mankind originated from the first man and woman, and how all the various
tribes and peoples grew up which are scattered throughout the world, exclaimed,
“This is a wonderful vision which allows us to reflect on the unity of mankind: all
mankind has a common origin in the Creator, as we are told, ‘one God and fa-
ther of us all’ (Eph 4:6); moreover, all men and women share one and the same
nature: all have a material body and an immortal and spiritual soul” (”Summi
Pontificatus”, 18). God is “above all”: his lordship and control over things means
that he is the author and maintainer of their unity. Throughout history he has
acted “through all” his children, that is, believers, whom he has used to bring
about unity among men and over all created things. And he dwells “in all” the
faithful, for they belong to him; even the deepest recesses of their hearts are
his.

7. The diversity of graces or charisms which accompany the various kinds of vo-
cation given to members of the Church do not undermine its unity; rather, they
enhance it, because it is Christ himself who bestows these gifts, as St Paul tea-
ches in vv. 8-10. Christ also provides the Church with ministers who devote them-
selves to building up his body (vv. 11-12).

So just as there is a great variety of personality and situation, the Church eviden-
ces many kinds of “charisms” or different ways of actually living out the calling to
holiness which God addresses to all. “In the Church”, Bl. John Paul II points out,
“as the community of the people of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit’s
working, each member has ‘his own special gift’, as St Paul teaches (1 Cor 7:7).
Although this ‘gift’ is a personal vocation and a form of participation in the Church’s
saving work, it also serves others, builds the Church and the fraternal communi-
ties in the various spheres of human life on earth” (”Redemptor Hominis”, 21).

11-12. The Apostle here refers to certain ministries or offices in the Church,
which are performed not only in a charismatic way, under the influence of the Ho-
ly Spirit, but as an assignment or ministry entrusted to the particular individual by
the glorified Lord.

These ministries have to do with preaching (teaching) and government. In 1 Co-
rinthians 12:27-30 and Romans 12:6-8, mention is made, alongside ministries,
of other charisms which complete the array of the gifts to be found in the mysti-
cal body of Christ. St Paul here presents them as gifts given by Christ, the head
of his body, gifts which make for the strengthening of its unity and love. In this
connection, see the quotation from “Lumen Gentium”, 7, in the note on 1:22-23
above. These graces are provided by the Holy Spirit who, “distributing various
kinds of spiritual gifts and ministries (cf. 1 Cor 12:4-11), enriches the Church of
Jesus Christ with different functions in order to equip the saints for the works of
service (cf. Eph 4:12)” (”Unitatis Redintegratio”, 2).

In the list which St Paul gives the first to appear are apostles. These may be the
first apostles (including Paul himself) or a wider group (cf. 1 Cor 15:7; Rom 16:7)
which includes others sent as missionaries to establish new Christian communi-
ties. Alongside them (as in Eph 2:20; 3:5) come prophets, who are also the bed-
rock of the Church, trustees of revelation. Essentially a prophet was not someone
“sent” but rather one whose role was to “upbuild, encourage and console” (cf. 1
Cor 14:3; Acts 13:1) and who normally stayed within a particular community. The
“evangelists” were others, who had not received a direct revelation but who devo-
ted themselves to preaching the Gospel which the apostles had passed on to
them (cf. Acts 21:8; 2 Tim 4:5). It may be that St Paul mentions them here, a-
long with apostles and prophets, because it was evangelists who first preached
the Gospel in Ephesus. The last to be mentioned are pastors and teachers,
whose role was that of ruling and giving ongoing instruction to particular commu-
nities.

There is no necessary reason why the terminology used in apostolic times for
ministries in the Church should be the same as that used nowadays; however,
the ministries themselves do not change: “Guiding the Church in the way of all
truth (cf. Jn 16:13) and unifying her in communion and in the works of ministry,
the Holy Spirit bestows upon her varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in
this way directs her; and he adorns her with his fruits (cf. Eph 4: 12; 1 Cor 12:4;
Gal 5:22)” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 4).

And, of course, all Christians have a responsibility to spread Christ’s teaching,
to cooperate in the Church’s work of catechesis. “Catechesis always has been
and always will be”, Bl. John Paul II teaches, “a work for which the whole Church
must feel responsible and must wish to be responsible. But the Church’s mem-
bers have different responsibilities, derived from each one’s mission. Because of
their charge, pastors have, at differing levels, the chief responsibility for fostering,
guiding and coordinating catechesis [...]. Priests and religious have in cateche-
sis a preeminent field for their apostolate. On another level, parents have a
unique responsibility. Teachers, the various ministers of the Church, catechists,
and also organizers of social communications, all have in various degrees very
precise responsibilities in this education of the believing conscience, an educa-
tion that is important for the life of the Church and affects the life of society as
such” (”Catechesi Tradendae”, 16).

13. The building up of the body of Christ occurs to the extent that its members
strive to hold on to the truths of faith and to practice charity. The “knowledge of
the Son of God” refers not only to the object of faith — which is basically the ac-
ceptance of Christ as true God and true man — but also to a vital and loving re-
lationship with him. A conscientious approach to the personal obligations that
faith implies is the mark of maturity, whereas an undeveloped, childish persona-
lity is marked by a certain instability.

As Christians develop in faith and love, they become more firmly inserted into
the body of Christ and make a greater contribution to its development. In this way
“mature manhood” is reached: this seems to refer not to the individual Christian
but rather to the “total Christ” or “whole Christ” in St Augustine’s phrase, that is,
all the members in union with the head, Christ. “It is due to this communication
of the Spirit of Christ that all the gifts, virtues, and miraculous powers which are
found eminently, most abundantly, and fontally in the head, stream into all the
members of the Church and in them are perfected daily according to the place
of each in the mystical body of Jesus Christ; and that, consequently, the Church
becomes as it were the fullness and completion of the Redeemer, Christ in the
Church being in some sense brought to complete achievement” (Pius XII, “Mys-
tici Corporis”, 34).

“The fullness of Christ” must mean the Church itself or Christians incorporated
into Christ; the “fullness” (”pleroma”) of a boat is the sum total of the gear, crew
and cargo which “fill” the boat, and mean it is ready to weigh anchor. “As mem-
bers of the living Christ, incorporated into him and made like him by Baptism,
Confirmation and the Eucharist, all the faithful have an obligation to collaborate
in the spreading and growth of his body, so that they might bring it to fullness
as soon as possible” (Vatican II, “Ad Gentes”, 36).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


6 posted on 05/19/2012 3:29:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Mark 16:15-20

Jesus Appears to the Eleven. The Apostle’s Mission


[15] And He (Jesus) said to them (the Eleven), “Go into all the world and preach
the Gospel to the whole creation. [16] He who believes and is baptized will be
saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. [17] And these signs
will accompany those who believe; in My name they will cast out demons; they
will speak in new tongues; [18] 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.”

The Ascension


[19] 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.

The Apostles Go Forth and Preach


[20] And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with
them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.

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

15. This verse contains what is called the “universal apostolic mandate” (paral-
leled by Matthew 28:19-20 and Luke 24:46-48). This is an imperative command
from Christ to His Apostles to preach the Gospel to the whole world. This same
apostolic mission applies, especially to the Apostles’ successors, the bishops
in communion with Peter’s successor, the Pope.

But this mission extends further: the whole “Church was founded to spread the
Kingdom of Christ over all the earth for the glory of God the Father, to make all
men partakers in redemption and salvation.... Every activity of the Mystical Body
with this in view goes by the name of ‘apostolate’; the Church exercises it through
all its members, though in various ways. In fact, the Christian vocation is, of its
nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. In the organism of a living body no
member plays a purely passive part, sharing in the life of the body it shares at the
same time in its activity. The same is true for the body of Christ, the Church: ‘the
whole body achieves full growth in dependence on the full functioning of each part’
(Ephesians 4:16). Between the members of this body there exists, further, such
a unity and solidarity (cf. Ephesians 4:16) that a member who does not work at
the growth of the body to the extent of his possibilities must be considered use-
less both to the Church and to himself.

“In the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission. To the apostles
and their successors Christ has entrusted the office of teaching, sanctifying and
governing in His name and by His power. But the laity are made to share in the
priestly, prophetical and kingly office of Christ; they have therefore, in the Church
and in the world, their own assignment in the mission of the whole people of God”
(Vatican II, “Apostolicam Actuositatem”, 2).

It is true that God acts directly on each person’s soul through grace, but it must
also be said that it is Christ’s will (expressed here and elsewhere) that men
should be an instrument or vehicle of salvation for others.

Vatican II also teaches this: “On all Christians, accordingly, rests the noble obli-
gation of working to bring all men throughout the whole world to hear and accept
the divine message of salvation” (”ibid.”, 3).

16. This verse teaches that, as a consequence of the proclamation of the Good
News, faith and Baptism are indispensable pre-requisites for attaining salvation.
Conversion to the faith of Jesus Christ should lead directly to Baptism, which
confers on us “the first sanctifying grace, by which Original Sin is forgiven, and
which also forgives any actual sins there may be; it remits all punishment due
for sins; it impresses on the soul the mark of the Christian; it makes us children
of God, members of the Church and heirs to Heaven, and enables us to receive
the other Sacraments” (”St. Pius X Catechism”, 553).

Baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation, as we can see from these words
of the Lord. But physical impossibility for receiving the rite of Baptism can be
replaced either by martyrdom (called, therefore, “baptism of blood”) or by a per-
fect act of love of God and of contrition, together with an at least implicit desire
to be baptized: this is called “baptism of desire” (cf. “ibid.”, 567-568).

Regarding infant Baptism, St. Augustine taught that “the custom of our Mother
the Church of infant Baptism is in no way to be rejected or considered unneces-
sary; on the contrary, it is to be believed on the ground that it is a tradition from
the Apostles” (”De Gen., Ad Litt.”, 10, 23, 39). The new “Code of Canon Law”
also stresses the need to baptize infants: “Parents are obliged to see that their
infants are baptized within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the
birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the
Sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it” (Canon 867).

Another consequence of the proclamation of the Gospel, closely linked with the
previous one, is that “the Church is necessary”, as Vatican II declares: “Christ
is the one mediator and way of salvation; He is present to us in His body which
is the Church. He Himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism
(cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity
of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they
could not be saved who, knowing that the Church was founded as necessary by
God through Christ, would refuse to enter it, or to remain in it” (”Lumen Gentium”,
14; cf. “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 4; “Ad Gentes”, 1-3; “Dignitatis Humanae”, 11).

17-18. In the early days of the Church, public miracles of this kind happened
frequently. There are numerous historical records of these events in the New
Testament (cf., e.g., Acts 3:1-11; 28:3-6) and in other ancient Christian writings.
It was very fitting that this should be so, for it gave visible proof of the truth of
Christianity.

Miracles of this type still occur, but much more seldom; they are very exceptio-
nal. This, too, is fitting because, on the one hand, the truth of Christianity has
been attested to enough; and, on the other, it leaves room for us to merit through
faith. St. Jerome comments: “Miracles were necessary at the beginning to con-
firm the people in the faith. But, once the faith of the Church is confirmed, mira-
cles are not necessary” (”Comm. In Marcum, in loc.”). However, God still works
miracles through saints in every generation, including our own.

19. The Lord’s ascension into Heaven and His sitting at the right hand of the
Father is the sixth article of faith confessed in the Creed. Jesus Christ went up
into Heaven body and soul, to take possession of the Kingdom He won through
His death, to prepare for us a place in Heaven (cf. Revelation 3:21) and to send
the Holy Spirit to His Church (cf. “St. Pius X Catechism”, 123).

To say that He “sat at the right hand of God” means that Jesus Christ, including
His humanity, has taken eternal possession of Heaven and that, being the equal
of His Father in that He is God, He occupies the place of highest honor beside
Him in His human capacity (cf. “St. Pius V Catechism”, I, 7, 2-3). Already in the
Old Testament the Messiah is spoken of as seated at the right hand of the Al-
mighty, thereby showing the supreme dignity of Yahweh’s Anointed (cf. Psalm
110:1). The New Testament records this truth here and also in many other pas-
sages (cf. Ephesians 1:20-22; Hebrews 1:13).

As the “St. Pius V Catechism” adds, Jesus went up to Heaven by His own power
and not by any other. Nor was it only as God that He ascended, but also as man.

20. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the evangelist attests that the words of Christ have
already begun to be fulfilled by the time of writing. The Apostles, in other words,
were faithfully carrying out the mission of our Lord entrusted to them. They begin
to preach the Good News of salvation throughout the known world. Their prea-
ching was accompanied by the signs and wonders the Lord had promised, which
lent authority to their witness and their teaching. Yet, we know that their apostolic
work was always hard, involving much effort, danger, misunderstanding, persecu-
tion and even martyrdom—like our Lord’s own life.

Thanks to God and also to the Apostles, the strength and joy of our Lord Jesus
Christ has reached as far as us. But every Christian generation, every man and
woman, has to receive the preaching of the Gospel and, in turn, pass it on. The
grace of God will always be available to us: “Non est abbreviata manus Domini”
(Isaiah 59:1), the power of the Lord has not diminished.

*********************************************************************************************
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.


7 posted on 05/19/2012 3:31:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Acts 1:15-17, 20-26

The Election of Matthias


[15] In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons
was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, [16] “Brethren, the scripture
had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David,
concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. [17] For he was
numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. [20] For it is
written in the Book of Psalms, ‘Let his habitation become desolate, and let there
be no one to live in it’; and ‘His office let another take.’

[21] So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the
Lord Jesus went in and out among us, [22] beginning from the baptism of John
until the day when He was taken up from us—one of these men must become
with us a witness to His resurrection.”

[23] And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed
Justus, and Matthias. [24] And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the
hearts of all men, show which one of these two Thou hast chosen [25] to take
the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go
to his own place.” [26] And they had cast lots for them, and the lot fell on
Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven Apostles.

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

15-23. “Peter is the ardent and impetuous Apostle to whom Christ entrusted the
care of His flock; and since he is first in dignity, he is the first to speak” (Chry-
sostom, “Hom. on Acts”, 3).

Here we see Peter performing his ministry. Events will make for the gradual
manifestation of the supreme role of government which Christ entrusted to him.
His is a ministry of service—he is the “servus servorum Dei”, the servant of the
servants of God—a ministry given to none other, different from all other ministries
in the Church. Peter will carry it out in solidarity with his brothers in the Aposto-
late and in close contact with the whole Church represented here in the 120
brethren around him.

This account of Peter with the other Apostles and disciples all brought together
is described by St. John Chrysostom in these words: “Observe the admirable
prudence of St. Peter. He begins by quoting the authority of a prophet and does
not say, ‘My own word suffices,’ so far is he from any thought of pride. But he
seeks nothing less that the election of a 12th Apostle and he presses for this.
His entire behavior shows the degree of his authority and that he understood the
apostolic office of government not as a position of honor but as a commitment to
watch over the spiritual health of those under him.

“The disciples were one hundred and twenty, and Peter asks for one of these.
But he it is who proposes the election and exercises the principal authority
because he has been entrusted with the care of all”(”Hom. on Acts”, 3).

21-22. The Apostles are witnesses “par excellence” of Jesus’ public life. The
Church is “apostolic” because it relies on the solid testimony of people specially
chosen to live with our Lord, witnessing His works and listening to His words.
The twelve Apostles certify that Jesus of Nazareth and the risen Lord are one and
the same person and that the words and actions of Jesus preserved and passed
by the Church are indeed truly reported.

Everyone who maintains unity with the Pope and bishops in communion with him
maintains unity with the Apostles and, through them, with Jesus Christ Himself.
“Orthodox teaching has been conserved by being passed on successively since
the time of the Apostles and so it has remained up to the present in all the
churches. Therefore, only that teaching can be considered true which offers no
discord with ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition” (Origen, “De Principiis”, Pre-
face, 2). See the note on Acts 1:26.

24-26. Verses 24-25 record the first prayer of the Church, which is linked with
what we were told in verse 14—”all these with one accord devoted themselves to
prayer”—and shows the disciples’ firm belief that God rules over all things and all
events and looks after the Church in a very special way.

The Christian community leaves in God’s hands the choice as to who will fill the
empty place in the Twelve. It does this by using traditional Hebrew method of
casting lots, the outcome of which will reveal God’s will. This method of divining
God’s will is to be found quite a number of times in the Old Testament (cf. 1 Sa-
muel 14:41f); its use was restricted to Levites, to prevent it degenerating into a
superstitious practice. In casting lots the Jews used dice, sticks, pieces of paper,
etc. each bearing the name of the candidate for an office, or of people suspected
of having committed some crime, etc. Lots were cast as often as necessary to
fill the number of places to be filled or the suspected number of criminals.

In this instance they decide to cast lots because they consider that God has
already made His choice and all that remains is for Him to make His will known:
His decision can be ascertained unerringly by using this simple human device.
This method of appointing people, borrowed from Judaism, did not continue to be
used in the church for very long.

Now that Matthias has been appointed the Twelve is complete again. The Apos-
tolic College is now ready to receive the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised to
send, and to go on to bear universal witness to the Good News.

26. St. Luke usually applies the term “apostles” only to the Twelve (cf., for exam-
ple, Acts 6:6), or the Eleven plus Peter, who appears as head of the Apostolic
College (cf. 2:14). Except in Acts 14:14, Luke never describes St. Paul as an
Apostle—not because he minimizes Paul’s role (indeed, half the chapters of Acts
deal with Paul) but because he reserves to the Twelve the specific function of
being witnesses to our Lord’s life on earth.

This apostolic character or apostolicity is one of the marks of the true Church of
Christ—a Church built, by the express wish of its Founder, on the solid basis of
the Twelve.

The “St. Pius V Catechism” (I, 10, 17) teaches that “the true Church is also to
be recognized from her origin, which can be traced back under the law of grace
to the Apostles; for her doctrine is the truth not recently given, nor now first heard
of, but delivered of old by the Apostles, and disseminated throughout the entire
world. [...] That all, therefore, might know which was the Catholic Church, the
Fathers, guided by the Spirit of God, added to the Creed the word ‘apostolic’. For
the Holy Spirit, who presides over the Church, governs her by no other ministers
than those of apostolic succession. This Spirit, first imparted to the Apostles,
has by the infinite goodness of God always continued in the Church.”

The principal role of the Apostles is to be witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus
(cf. 1:22). They perform it through the ministry of the word (6:4), which takes
various forms, such as preaching to the people (cf. 2:14-40; 3:12-26; 4:2, 33;
5:20-21), teaching the disciples within the Christian community itself (2:42), and
declarations uttered fearlessly against the enemies and persecutors of the Gos-
pel of Jesus (4:5-31; 5;27-41). Like the word of the Lord, that of the Apostles is
supported by signs and wonders, which render visible the salvation which they
proclaim (2:14-21, 43; 3:1-11, 16; 4:8-12, 30; 5:12, 15-16; 9:31-43).

The Twelve also perform a role of government in the Church. When the members
of the community at Jerusalem give up their property to help their brothers in need,
they lay the money “at the Apostles’ feet” (4:35). When the Hellenist Christians
need to be reassured, the Twelve summon the assembly to establish the ministry
of the diaconate (6:2). When Saul goes up to Jerusalem after his conversion, he
is introduced to the Apostles by Barnabas (9:26-28). The Apostles quite evi-
dently exercise an authority given them by our Lord who invested them with
untransferable responsibilities and duties connected with service to the entire
Church.

The Apostles also intervene outside Jerusalem as guarantors of internal and ex-
ternal unity, which is also an essential distinguishing mark of the Church. After
Philip baptizes some Samaritans, the Apostles Peter and John travel from Jeru-+
salem to give them the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands (8:14-17).

After the baptism of the pagan Cornelius, the Apostles study the situation with
Peter, to ascertain more exactly the designs of God and the details of the new
economy of salvation (11:1-18). Apropos of the debate in Antioch about the cir-
cumcision of baptized pagans, the community decides to consult the Apostles
(15:2) to obtain a final decision on this delicate matter.

Most of St. Luke’s attention is concentrated on the figure of Peter, whom he men-
tions 56 times in Acts. Peter is always the center of those scenes or episodes
in which he appears with other Apostles or disciples. In matters to do with the
community at Jerusalem Peter acts as the spokesman of the Twelve (2:14, 37;
5:29) and plays a key role in the opening up of the Gospel to pagans.

The College of the twelve Apostles, whose head is Peter, endures in the Episco-
pacy of the Church, whose head is the Pope, the bishop of Rome, successor of
Peter and vicar of Jesus Christ. The Second Vatican Council proposes this once
again when it teaches that the “Lord Jesus, having prayed at length to the Father,
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)” (”Lumen Gentium”, 19).

“Just as, in accordance with the Lord’s decree, St. Peter and the rest of the
Apostles constitute a unique apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman
Pontiff, Peter’s successor, and the bishops, the successors of the Apostles,
are related and united to one another. [...]

“In it the bishops, whilst loyally respecting the primacy and pre-eminence of their
head, exercise their own proper authority for the good of their faithful, indeed even
for the good of the whole Church, the organic structure and harmony of which are
strengthened by the continued influence of the Holy Spirit. The supreme authority
over the whole Church, which this college possesses, is exercised in a solemn
way in an ecumenical council. [...] And it is the prerogative of the Roman Pontiff
to convoke such councils, to preside over them and to confirm them” (”ibid.”, 22).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


8 posted on 05/19/2012 3:32:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 John 4:11-18

God is Love. Brotherly Love, the Mark of Christians (Continuation)


[11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. [12] No
man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love
is perfected in us.

[13] By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given
us of his own Spirit. [14] And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent
his Son as the Savior of the world. [15] Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son
of God, God abides in him, and he in God. [16] So we know and believe the love
God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God
abides in him.

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

11-12. The Apostle underlines here the theological basis of brotherly love: the
love which God has shown us by the incarnation and redemptive death of his
Son, places us in his debt: we have to respond in kind; so we “ought” to love
our neighbor with the kind of gratitude and disinterest that God showed by ta-
king the initiative in loving us.

Moreover, by loving one another we are in communion with God. The deepest
desire of the human heart, which is to see and to possess God, cannot be sa-
tisfied in this life, because “no man has ever seen God” (v. 12); our neighbor, on
the other hand, we do see. So, in this life, the way to be in communion with God
is by brotherly love. “Love of God is the first thing in the order of commands”, St
Augustine explains, “and love of neighbor is the first thing in the order of practice
[...]. You, who do not yet see God, will, by loving your neighbor, merit to see him.
Love of neighbor cleanses our eyes to see God, as John clearly says, If you do
not love your neighbor, whom you see, how can you love God, whom you do not
see (cf. I Jn 4:20)” (”In Ioann. Evang.”, 17, 8).

13. Having the gift of the Holy Spirit is the sure sign of being in communion with
God. Since the Holy Spirit is the love of the Father and of the Son, his presence
in the soul in grace is necessarily something dynamic, that is, it moves the per-
son to keep all the commandments (cf. 3:24), particularly that of brotherly love.
This interior impulse shows that the third Person of the Blessed Trinity is at work
within us; it is a sign of union with God.

The Holy Spirit’s action on the soul is a marvellous and deep mystery .”This
breathing of the Holy Spirit in the soul,” says St John of the Cross, “whereby;
God transforms it into himself, is so sublime and delicate and profound a delight
to it that it cannot be described by mortal tongue, nor can human understanding,
as such, attain to any conception of it” (”Spiritual Canticle”, stanza 39).

14-15. Once more (cf. v. 1:4) St John vividly reminds his readers that he, and the
other Apostles have seen with their own eyes the Son of God, made man out of
love for us. They were eyewitnesses of his redemptive life and death. And in the
Son, sent by the Father as Savior of the world, the unfathomable mystery of God
is revealed—that his very being is Love.

“It is ‘God, who is rich in mercy’ (Eph 2:4) whom Jesus Christ has revealed to us
as Father: it is his very Son who, in himself, has manifested him and made’ him
known to us (cf. Jn 1:18; Heb 1:1)” (Bl. John Paul II, “Dives In Misericordia, 1).

16. “Knowing” and “believing” are not theoretical knowledge but intimate, expe-
rienced attachment (cf. notes on 2:3-6; 4:1-6; Jn 6:69; 17:8). Therefore, when St
John says that they knew and believed “the love God has for us” he is not refer-
ring to an abstract truth but to the historical fact of the incarnation and death of
Christ (v. 14), the supreme manifestation of the Father’s love.

“He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him”: St Thomas Aqui-
nas explains “that in some way the loved one is to be found in the lover. And so,
he who loves God in some way possesses him, as St John says (1 Jn 4:16) [...].
Also, it is a property of love that the lover becomes transformed into the loved
one; so, if we love vile and perishable things, we become vile and perishable, like
those who ‘became detestable like the things they loved” (Hos 9:10). Whereas,
if we love God, we are made divine, for the Apostle says, ‘He who is united to
the Lord becomes one spirit with him’ (1 Cor 6:17)” (”In duo praecepta, prol.”, 3).

17-18. The perfection of charity shows itself in serene confidence in God and
consequent absence of fear. Love is perfected “in us”, as a gratuitous gift from
God, but itcan also be said that it grows with us, thanks to our free response to
grace.

Confidence for the day of judgment (cc. also the note on 2:28) is something we
should have also in this life; a basis for it is to be found in the daring statement,
“...because as he is so are we in this world”. This is not just a reference to imi-
tating Christ’s virtues or qualities: it means the profound identification with Christ
which the Christian should attain: “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives
in me” (Gal 2:20).

The fear which is incompatible with charity is servile fear, which sees God only
as one who punishes those who transgress his commandments. But filial fear,
which is compatible with charity, is what gives a Christian a deep horror of sin
because it is something which cuts him off from the love of God his Father. In
the early stages of the Christian life, fear of God is very helpful (cf., e.g., Ps 111:
10; Sir 1:27): the Council of Trent teaches that sinners “by turning from a salu-
tary fear of divine justice to a consideration of God’s mercy, are encouraged to
hope, confident that God will be well-disposed to them for Christ’s sake” (”De
iustificatione”, 6).

18. “The solution is to love”, Monsignor Escriva says. “St John the Apostle wrote
some words which really move me: ‘qui autem timet, non est perfectus in caritate.
‘I like to translate them as follows, almost word for word:the fearful man doesn’t
know how to love. You, therefore, who do love and know how to show it, you
mustn’t be afraid of anything. So, on you go!” (”The Forge”, 260).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


9 posted on 05/19/2012 3:33:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 17:11b-19

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus (Continuation)


(Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven and said, ) [11b] “Holy Father, keep them in thy
name, which thou has given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. [12]
While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have
guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture
might be fulfilled. [13] But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in
the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. [14] I have given them
thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world. [15]
I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst
keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, even as I am not of
the world. [17] Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. [18] As thou didst
send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their
sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.

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

11-19. Jesus now asks the Father to give his disciples four things—unity, perse-
verance, joy and holiness. By praying him to keep them in his name (v. 11) he
is asking for their perseverance in the teaching he has given them (cf. v. 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 still with them.
Thirdly, as a result of their union with God and perseverance they will share in the
joy of Christ (v. 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,
because 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.

12. “That the scripture might be fulfilled”: this is an allusion to what he said to the
Apostles a little earlier (Jn 13:18) by directly quoting Scripture: “He who ate my
bread has lifted his heel against me” (Ps 41:10). Jesus makes these references
to Judas’ treachery in order to strengthen the Apostles’ faith by showing that he
knew everything in advance and that the Scriptures had already foretold what
would happen.

However, Judas went astray through his own fault and not because God arranged
things that way; his treachery had been taking shape little by little, through his
petty infidelities, and despite our Lord helping him to repent and get back on the
right rode (cf. note on Jn 13:21-32); Judas did not respond to this grace and was
responsible for his own downfall. God, who sees the future, predicted the trea-
chery of Judas in the Scripture; Christ, being God, knew that Judas would betray
him and it is with immense sorrow that he now tells the Apostles.

14-16. In Sacred Scripture “world” has a number of meanings. First, it means the
whole of creation (Gen 1:1ff) and, within creation, mankind, which God loves most
tenderly (Prov 8:31). This is the meaning intended here when our Lord says, “I do
not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep
them from the evil one” (v. 15). “I have taught this constantly using words from holy
Scripture. The world is not evil, because it has come from God’s hands, because
it is his creation, because Yahweh looked upon it and saw that it was good (cf.
Gen 1:7ff). We ourselves, mankind, make it evil and ugly with our sins and infideli-
ties. Have no doubt: any kind of evasion from the honest realities of daily life is for
you, men and women of the world, something opposed to the will of God” (St. J.
Escriva, “Conversations”, 114).

In the second place, “world” refers to the things of this world, which do not last
and which can be at odds with the things of the spirit (cf. Mt 16:26).

Finally, because evil men have been enslaved by sin and by the devil, “the ruler
of the world” (Jn 12:31; 16:11), the “world” sometimes means God’s enemy,
something opposed to Christ and his followers (Jn 1:10). In this sense the “world”
is evil, and therefore Jesus is not of the world, nor are his disciples (v. 16). It is
also this pejorative meaning which is used by traditional teaching which describes
the world, the flesh and the devil as enemies of the soul against which one has
to be forever vigilant. “The world, the flesh and the devil are a band of adventurers
who take advantage of the weakness of that savage you bear within you, and
want you to hand over to them, in exchange for the glittering tinsel of a pleasure
—which is worth nothing—the pure gold and the pearls and the diamonds and
rubies drenched in the life-blood of your God-Redeemer, which are the price and
the treasure of your eternity” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 708).

17-19. Jesus prays for the holiness of his disciples. God alone is the Holy One;
in his holiness people and things share. “Sanctifying” has to do with consecra-
ting and dedicating something to God, excluding it from being used for profane
purposes; thus God says to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew
you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to
the nations” (Jer 1:5). If something is to be consecrated to God it must be perfect,
that is, holy. Hence, a consecrated person needs to have moral sanctity, needs
to be practising the moral virtues. Our Lord here asks for both things for his dis-
ciples, because they need them if they are to fulfill their supernatural mission in
the world.

“For their sake I consecrate myself”: these words mean that Jesus Christ, who
has been burdened with the sins of men, consecrates himself to the Father
through his sacrifice on the Cross. By this are all Christians sanctified: “So
Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his
own blood” (Heb 13:12). So, after Christ’s death, men have been made sons of
God by Baptism, sharers in the divine nature and enabled to attain the holiness
to which they have been called (cf. Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 40).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


10 posted on 05/19/2012 3:35:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 1:15-17,20-26 ©
One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers – there were about a hundred and twenty persons in the congregation: ‘Brothers, the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, foretells the fate of Judas, who offered himself as a guide to the men who arrested Jesus – after having been one of our number and actually sharing this ministry of ours. Now in the Book of Psalms it says:
Let someone else take his office.
‘We must therefore choose someone who has been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was travelling round with us, someone who was with us right from the time when John was baptising until the day when he was taken up from us – and he can act with us as a witness to his resurrection.’
  Having nominated two candidates, Joseph known as Barsabbas, whose surname was Justus, and Matthias, they prayed, ‘Lord, you can read everyone’s heart; show us therefore which of these two you have chosen to take over this ministry and apostolate, which Judas abandoned to go to his proper place.’ They then drew lots for them, and as the lot fell to Matthias, he was listed as one of the twelve apostles.

Psalm Psalm 102:1-2,11-12,19-20 ©
The Lord has set his sway in heaven.
or
Alleluia.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  and never forget all his blessings.
The Lord has set his sway in heaven.
or
Alleluia.
For as the heavens are high above the earth
  so strong is his love for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west
  so far does he remove our sins.
The Lord has set his sway in heaven.
or
Alleluia.
The Lord has set his sway in heaven
  and his kingdom is ruling over all.
Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels,
  mighty in power, fulfilling his word.
The Lord has set his sway in heaven.
or
Alleluia.

Second reading 1 John 4:11-16 ©
My dear people,
since God has loved us so much,
we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
but as long as we love one another
God will live in us
and his love will be complete in us.
We can know that we are living in him
and he is living in us
because he lets us share his Spirit.
We ourselves saw and we testify
that the Father sent his Son
as saviour of the world.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God lives in him, and he in God.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in
God’s love towards ourselves.
God is love
and anyone who lives in love lives in God,
and God lives in him.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn14:18
Alleluia, alleluia!
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord;
I will come back to you,
and your hearts will be full of joy.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 17:11-19 ©
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
‘Holy Father,
keep those you have given me true to your name,
so that they may be one like us.
While I was with them,
I kept those you had given me true to your name.
I have watched over them
and not one is lost
except the one who chose to be lost,
and this was to fulfil the scriptures.
But now I am coming to you
and while still in the world I say these things
to share my joy with them to the full.
I passed your word on to them,
and the world hated them,
because they belong to the world
no more than I belong to the world.
I am not asking you to remove them from the world,
but to protect them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth;
your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
I have sent them into the world,
and for their sake I consecrate myself
so that they too may be consecrated in truth.’

11 posted on 05/19/2012 3:38:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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April 11 Audience: On Easter's Spiritual Joy
When did the Resurrection become truly the Faith, and the official teaching of the Church?
What are they thinking? (The Easter and Christmas only Church-goers, that is!)

The Resurrection Appearances Chronologically Arranged
Are There Discrepancies in the Resurrection Accounts? If so, Can They be Resolved?
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI - EASTER 2012
Saint Gregory the Great’s Sermon on the Mystery of the Resurrection
Pope Benedict XVI warns of moral 'darkness' as he celebrates Easter Mass
Easter Changes Everything
New Catholics a sign of Easter blessing for church (in Oregon)
On Easter Joy -- General Audience, Pope Benedict XVI
The Christ of the Folded Napkin
Reflection on Hope and New Life After the Easter Feasts (Thomas Rosica, CSB)

Easter Time [Eastertide or Easter Season]
Risen Christ opens for a us a completely new future says the Pope at Easter Mass
Man Who "Died" 5 Times Is Becoming Catholic (Thousands to Enter Church at Easter)
On the Resurrection-Pope Benedict XVI
Octave of Easter, Pope Benedict XVI
The Double Alleluia
Easter Sunday
Eastertide Overview
Our 'Great Sunday' (Season of Easter) [Editorial Column]
Happy Easter: The Tomb is Empty! The Warrior of Love has conquered!

Homily Of His Holiness Benedict XVI (Holy Saturday Easter Vigil, Saint Peter's Basilica)
Pope to Baptize Prominent Muslim
Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
The Exultet
The Dark before Dawn
Easter and the Holy Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil
Easter Day and Easter Season
THE EASTER LITURGY [Easter Vigil] (Anglican and Catholic Rites)

Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil
Poles visit symbolic Christ's Graves on Holy Saturday
Easter Vigil tonight
HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER FOR EASTER VIGIL FROM 2002-2005
2 Paschal Candles; Lights On at Vigil And More on Washing of the Feet
RCIA and Holy Saturday
The Time Of Easter or Eastertide -- Easter Seasosn
Easter Day and Easter Season
Easter Reflections -- 50 Days of the Easter Season
The Blessed Season of Easter - Fifty Days of Reflections

12 posted on 05/19/2012 7:39:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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PRAYERS AFTER
HOLY MASS AND COMMUNION



Leonine Prayers
    Following are the Prayers after Low Mass which were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII who composed the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and were reinforced by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII to pray for the conversion of Russia. These prayers were in effect until after Vatican II. A decade later Paul VI said, "satan has entered the sanctuary." Could the elimination of these powerful prayers with a ten year indulgence have played a huge part in allowing the devil such easy access? The answer is obvious. Below the normal Leonine Prayers is the longer version of the Prayer to St. Michael, composed by His Excellency Pope Leo XIII to defend against The Great Apostasy.
Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructis ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

    Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus gementes et fientes in hac lacrymarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

    Oremus. Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus, populum ad te clamantem propitius respice; et intercedente gloriosa, et immaculata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, ejus Sponso, ac beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversione peccatorum, pro libertate et exaltatione sanctae Matris Ecclesiae, preces effundimus, misericors et benignus exaudi. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.

Vernacular

   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 at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

   Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this 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.

   Let us pray.
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

   Saint 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, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.


Complete Prayer to Saint Michael
    The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. After Vatican II, in legion with the devil Giovanni Montini outlawed this necessary prayer and then one wonders how "the smoke of satan" got into the sanctuary? The conciliarists wanted to make sure the words in bold below would never see the light of day again for in it Leo foretold what would happen: The shepherd would be struck, the sheep scattered. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

    V: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
    R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
    V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
    R: As we have hoped in Thee.
    V: O Lord hear my prayer.
    R: And let my cry come unto Thee.

    V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.


Prayer Before the Crucifix

   Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

Indulgence of ten years; a plenary indulgence if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, Raccolta 201)

Anima Christi - Soul of Christ

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee, that with
Thy saints I may praise Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Indulgence of 300 days; if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, seven years Raccolta 131)

Prayer for Vocations

   O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst take to Thyself a body and soul like ours, to teach us the glory of self-sacrifice and service, mercifully deign to instill in other hearts the desire to dedicate their lives to Thee. Give us PRIESTS to stand before Thine Altar and to preach the words of Thy Gospel; BROTHERS to assist the priests and to reproduce in themselves Thy humility; SISTERS to teach the young and nurse the sick and to minister Thy charity to all; LAY PEOPLE to imitate Thee in their homes and families. Amen.


13 posted on 05/19/2012 7:40:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
14 posted on 05/19/2012 7:41:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
15 posted on 05/19/2012 7:42:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Image Detail
 
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.


16 posted on 05/19/2012 7:43:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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]


17 posted on 05/19/2012 7:45:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ 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 the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

18 posted on 05/19/2012 7:46:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
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"

   

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.


19 posted on 05/19/2012 7:47:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Grace

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century a zealous Jesuit priest, Father Lalomia, started among the students of the Roman college of his Society the practice of dedicating May to Our Lady. The devotion, which others had promoted in a small way, soon spread to other Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.

INVOCATIONS

Thou who wast a virgin before thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin in thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin after thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.

My Mother, deliver me from mortal sin.
Hail Mary (three times).

Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.

Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.
Roman Missal

Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things.

FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be of one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Roman Missal

THE SALVE REGINA

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, 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!
Roman Breviary

PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found
the way to restoration? Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and, receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, 0 blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.
Saint Augustine

PETITION TO MARY

Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Blessed Virgin Mary Magnificat Prayer
My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior,
For he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me,
holy is his name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; Even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever.
(Lk 1:46-55) 

Seen above is the Blessed Virgin Mary, portrayed as Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
It was she who was chosen by God, to provide His Son with His Sacred Humanity.
She did so in humble and total cooperation with the Holy Spirit and the Divine will of the Holy Trinity; providing God's Son with the Blood He shed for us on the Cross.

TO MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS
Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.

FOR THE GRACE OF LOVE
O Mary, my dear Mother, how much I love thee! And yet in reality how little! Thou dost teach me what I ought to know, for thou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus. Dearly beloved Mother, how close to God thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee. Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus; obtain for me the grace of loving thee!
Cardinal Merry del Val

TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR MAY

O most august and blessed Virgin Mary! Holy Mother of God! glorious Queen of heaven and earth! powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! look down, I beseech thee, from thy throne of glory on thy devoted child; accept the solemn offering I present thee of this month, specially dedicated to thee, and receive my ardent, humble desire, that by my love and fervor I could worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive me, 0 Mother of Mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to me thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for me a place in the Heart of Jesus, and a special share in the gifts of His grace. 0 deign, I beseech thee, to recognize my claims on thy protection, to watch over my spiritual and temporal interests, as well as those of all who are dear to me; to infuse into my soul the spirit of Christ, and to teach me thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God.

May my heart bum with the love of thy Divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may I thirst for the promotion of His honor and thine, and contribute, as far as I can, to its extension. Receive me, 0 Mary, the refuge of sinners! Grant me a Mother's blessing and a Mother's care, now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

TO OUR LADY

Saint John Vianney, better known as the Cure of Ars, when asked how long he had loved Mary, said: "I loved her almost before I could know her." In this prayer he expresses that love.
O thou most holy virgin Mary, who dost evermore stand before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to thy most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the wicked enemy. When I can no longer say: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands," do thou say it for me; when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, oh! pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with thee: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thee for all eternity. Amen.
Saint John Vianney

ACT OF REPARATION

O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous
tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. 0 Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.

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

Memorare of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Image Detail

Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary! 

That never was it known
That anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help or sought thy intercession
Was left unaided. 

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto Thee!
O Virgin of virgins, My Mother!

To Thee I come before Thee I stand,
Sinful and Sorrowful,
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy,
Hear and answer me.


Amen

A Mother’s Love, The Blessed Virgin Mary Saying YES To God
Chesterton on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary [Ecumenical]
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary
A Comparison is Instituted Between the Disobedient and Sinning Eve and the Virgin Mary..

Magnificat: The Hymn of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal... (Pt 2) (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal and Paternal Love (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
Discovering Mary [Excellent New Book For Converts]
Beginning Our Lady's Month [Catholic Caucus]
Give it all to Mary [Catholic Caucus]
JESUS LIVING IN MARY: HANDBOOK, SPIRITUALITY OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT, ROSARY [Ecumenical]
Mary, Tabernacle of the Lord By Archbishop Fulton Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
A Protestant Discovers Mary
Mary is our Mother and Queen of the New Davidic Kingdom (Scriptures Agree With Catholic Church)

Hail Mary
Holy Water Silhouette (Virgin Mary -video))
How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Mary, the Mother of God (a defense)
Calling Mary “Mother of God” Tells Us Who Jesus Is
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Mary, Our Cause of Rejoicing
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
Radio Replies First Volume - Devotion to Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Catholic Discovery of America(Catholic Caucus)

Mary is the star that guides us to holiness, says Holy Father during Angelus [Catholic Caucus]
The Efficacy and Power of One Hail Mary [Ecumenical]
When Did Belief in the Virgin Birth Begin?
Mary, Motherhood, and the Home BY Archbishop Fulton Sheen
On Mary, Mother of Priests
Benedict reflects on Mary and the priesthood [Catholic Caucus]
Radio Replies First Volume - Mary
Scholar says Baptists neglect lessons from Virgin Mary
Mary and the Sword Continued Part #2 by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Mary and the Sword by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen(Catholic Caucus)

Why Did Mary Offer a Sin Offering? [Ecumenical]
Mary and Intercessory Prayer
Mary: Holy Mother
Mary not just for Catholics anymore
Pope concludes Month of Mary in the Vatican Gardens
Consecration to Mary(Catholic Caucus)
Mary’s Marching Orders
Praying the Hail Mary Like Never Before [Ecumenical]
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas - THE HAIL MARY

Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity [Ecumenical]
Archbishop Sheen Today! -- Mary and the Moslems
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
"The Woman He Loved": Fulton Sheen and the Blessed Mother(Catholic Caucus)
September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary and Militant Islam
Catholic Devotional: Feast of the Holy Name of Mary
A Homily on the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Caucus: Mary, The Power of Her Name [The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary]

20 posted on 05/19/2012 7:49:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

May 2012

Pope's intentions

General Intention: The Family. That initiatives which defend and uphold the role of the family may be promoted within society. .

Missionary Intention: Mary, Guide of Missionaries. That Mary, Queen of the World and Star of Evangelization, may accompany all missionaries in proclaiming her Son Jesus.


21 posted on 05/19/2012 7:50:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY MK: 16:15-20
A longer view of life
By Fr. Jerome Magat

The mystery of the Ascension is one of the most powerful tools in consoling the suffering and the dying. In their ministry, priests often encounter individuals who have lost perspective on what life and living really mean. These individuals are nearing despair because they only see life on earth as the total sum of their lives. Burdened with a worldly perspective consumed with the passing temporalities of this life and a lack of faith, these individuals cannot perceive life beyond one’s brief sojourn on earth. Hence, the Ascension reminds us that life on earth is short and that the remainder of life is to be experienced in eternity. By preceding us in His ascension, Jesus reminds us of our eternal destiny: Life in heaven in a gloried body and soul. Jesus opens up for us the way back to the Father so that we may live fully in His presence.

The mysterious nature of the Ascension invites us to an increase in the virtue of hope — a filial trust in God that helps us transcend all of the sufferings of this life and assures us the possibility of heaven. Whenever beleaguered by the rigors of life, the Ascension reminds us that heaven awaits those who are faithful and that all of the sacrifices made in this life can be meritorious in the life of the world to come. Moreover, the Ascension compels us to seek those who are still far from really knowing Jesus, who describes Himself as the life. The hope of the Ascension reminds us to witness to others that there is a life in the world to come beyond all imagining and that what we do in this life will reap either a great reward or eternal punishment in the next.

When Jesus assures the apostles of the powers they will have as they preach the Gospel in His name, he reminds them that all power comes from the One who has transcended suffering and death itself on the cross. Jesus makes no sentimental statement here. Rather, He solemnly assures the apostles that there is nothing that the Christian life cannot conquer because the power of the Christian life comes from God. The Fathers of the Church often describe the Ascension as the event that made way for the Holy Spirit to descend upon the Church so as to continue the work of Jesus on earth.

We do well to pray that we continue to lift up our hearts to our Father in heaven, with our eyes firmly set on our heavenly homeland and our ultimate desired destination. This hope should empower us to actively engage the world in this life and help transform it in the name of the Gospel. May our hope in Him who has ascended to the Father's right hand encourage us to proclaim this hope to others so that His glory may be theirs.

Fr. Magat is parochial vicar of St. William of York Parish in Stafford.


22 posted on 05/19/2012 7:59:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

 Go into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year B

 -  The Ascension of the Lord

Go into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Go into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Mark 16:15-20

15 And he said to them: Go into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believes and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believes not shall be condemned.
17 And these signs shall follow those who believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues.
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.
19 And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and was seated at the right hand of God.
20 But they going forth preached everywhere: the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

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

The Ascension of the Lord - Go into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. My dear disciples, apostles, and you who listen to me, my time on earth was very fruitful and the hour came for me to return to my Father since I had already accomplished his Will.

I have already told you that I am the way, the truth and the life, I have offered you food for the journey because I am the bread of life, I will protect you and save you because I am the Good Shepherd and I have asked you to remain in me because I am the vine and you are the branches.

My presence with you will continue always in my Church until the end of times, it is by being part of my mystical body and by eating and drinking of my Eucharistic Presence that you will draw life from me and be nourished to remain strong in the faith until you also accomplish the plan of my Father.

I invite you to be my witnesses, to live a life by my model of charity, to live my commandments of love and to teach others to do the same. You don’t have to be priests to preach my gospel, since you can preach by your example, however you will be my joy if you are my anointed ministers and proclaim my words not from your minds but from your hearts. I am very sad to hear my gospel being torn apart by those who resist the inspiration of my Holy Spirit.

To believe in my gospel is to believe every sentence that I spoke, to ponder it in your hearts and to open yourselves to that powerful word that speaks to you in order to change your life. When I speak in my gospel I always have a double message, one that is understood by the mind and another that is to be sought for, my Spirit takes care to reveal it. My words are addressed to you in human language so that you understand, but they are spoken from the Spirit and therefore they have the power of God.

In baptism you become part of me, and you enter into my mystical body the Church. Those who reject the Church, reject me, those who reject me, reject life. Those who believe in my words and take them into their hearts will be given my gifts. They will have the power to cast out devils, and to pray for the sick who will recover, but the intellectuals don’t even believe in my word nor in the devil, so they miss out on my spiritual gifts.

Anyone who believes in me can pray in my name and I will grant his petitions, provided they are in accordance with the Will of my Father. A prayer of faith has great power, when it is said by someone who loves my word, I remain faithful to what I say.

My signs will accompany the believers, because they take my word seriously. Miracles are quite possible even today. I am the Lord ever faithful, I will respond with integrity to the call of those who belong to me.

I have ascended to my Father, I have taken possession of my Kingdom, I am preparing a place for your souls in eternity. In due time you will join me in the everlasting joy that the Father has prepared for those who love Him.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


23 posted on 05/19/2012 8:04:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Gospel Reflections

7th Sunday of Easter
Reading I:
Acts 1:15-17,20-26 II: 1 John 4:11-16
Gospel
John 17:11-19

11 Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.
12 When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.
14 I gave them your word, and the world hate them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.
16 They do not belong to the world anymore than I belong to the world.
17 Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
18 As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.
19 And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.


Interesting Details
  • Having completed his farewell speech to the disciples near Passover, Jesus allows them and the bystanding listeners to overhear some of the ongoing conversation between God the Father and God the Son.
  • This passage is part of the high-priestly prayer by Jesus (Jn 17:1-26). The term high-priestly prayer is given by the 16th century Lutheran theologian David Chytraeus.
  • It is for the disciples that Jesus say this "high-priestly prayer" (vv.1-26) at his moment of departure. After this prayer, Jesus will proceed to the Garden of Gethsemane and there Judas will betray him.
  • (v.12) Lost or "perished" refers to falling away from discipleship, not necessarily to eternal perdition.
  • While verse 12 seems at first to suggest an imperfect performance by Jesus in allowing one to be destroyed, Jesus makes clear that the betrayal was not in fact given to him by the Father but Judas' treachery had been taking shape little by little through his petty infidelities, and by the devil, the father of lies and murder (Jn8:44). Jesus notes it again that the loss of Judas was part of the risk taken in the incarnation (Jn13:18).
  • In sacred Scripture "world" has a number of meanings:
    1. It means the whole of creation (Gen 1:1ff) and within creation, mankind, which God loves most tenderly (Pro 8:31); this is the meaning intended in v.15.
    2. It refers to the things of this world, which do not last, which can be at odds with the things of the spirit (Mt 16:26);
    3. It sometimes means God's enemy, something opposed to Christ and his followers (Jn 1:10). In this sense, the "world" is the place of evil and therefore Jesus is not of the world, nor are his disciples (v.16).
  • (v.17) The disciples are the priests of the New Law. Just as the priests of the Old Law were consecrated (made holy), so are those of the New, but in a far more personal and intimate way.

One Main Point

Although still in the world, Jesus looks on his earthly ministry as a thing in the past (v.14). Death is the act that begins the process of leading his community into holiness, armed only with the truth, to continue the mission, sent by God into the world.


Reflections
  1. Imagine you are about to leave the group of close friends and disciples. What do you have to tell your group? What would your prayer be for them?
  2. How does the world treat me? Am I given to Jesus "from this world?" Do I see myself as part of the risk Jesus has taken in choosing his followers?
  3. Why does Jesus pray to the Father for "those you have given me" but not for the "world?" How often do you pray for the protection and the unity of Jesus' followers and of the church?

24 posted on 05/19/2012 8:14:31 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.


25 posted on 05/19/2012 8:19:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, May 20, 2012
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 or 4:1-13 or 4:1-7, 11-13
Mark 16:15-20

I see in my neighbor the Person of Jesus Christ.

-- St. Gerard Majella


26 posted on 05/19/2012 8:21:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Regina Coeli

 

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

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.


27 posted on 05/19/2012 8:22:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Office of Readings

The texts for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord follow those for the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Please scroll down for the Ascension texts.

INVITATORY


The Invitatory may be said for the first ‘hour’ recited in the day.

Lord, + open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Psalm 95
A call to praise God

Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
   and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
   and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
   the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
   and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
   the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship *
   bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
   the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
   in the wilderness, *
when at Meriba and Massah
   they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Forty years I endured that generation. *
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
   and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
   “They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

If the Invitatory is not said, then the following is used:

God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Christ the Lord is ris’n today;
Christians, haste your vows to pay;
Offer you your praises meet
At the Paschal Victim’s feet.
For the sheep the Lamb has bled,
Sinless in the sinner’s stead;
Christ, the Lord, is ris’n on high,
Now he lives no more to die!

Christ, the Victim undefiled,
Man to God has reconciled;
When in strange and awful strife
Met together death and life;
Christians, on this happy day
Haste with joy your vows to pay.
Christ, the Lord, is ris’n on high,
Now he lives no more to die!

Christ, who once for sinners bled,
Now the firstborn from the dead,
Throned in endless might and power,
Lives and reigns forevermore.
Hail, eternal Hope on high!
Hail, our King of Victory!
Hail, our Prince of life adored!
Help and save us, gracious Lord.

Tune: Victimae Paschali Laudes 77.77 D
Music: Traditional, alt.
Text: Victimae Paschali Laudes, Wipo, eleventh century

Or:

The day of resurrection!
Earth spread the news abroad;
The Paschal feast of gladness,
The Paschal feast of God.
From death to life eternal,
From earth to heaven’s height
Our Savior Christ has brought us,
The glorious Lord of Light.

Our hearts be free from evil
That we may see aright
The Savior resurrected
In his eternal light;
And hear his message plainly,
Delivered calm and clear:
“Rejoice with me in triumph,
Be glad and do not fear.”

Now let the heav’ns be joyful,
And earth her song begin,
The whole world keep high triumph
And all that is therein;
Let all things in creation
Their notes of gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord has risen,
Our joy that has no end.

Tune: Ellacombe or Aurelia 76.76 D
Music: (Ellacombe) Wurtemburg Gesangbuch, 1784, adapted in the Mainz Gesangbuch, 1833, and further adapted in the St. Gall Gesangbuch, 1863; (Aurelia) S. S. Wesley, 1810-1876
Text: John Mason Neale, 1818-1866, adapted by Anthony G. Petti

PSALMODY


Ant. 1 Alleluia, God has raised up Christ from the dead and given him glory, alleluia.

Psalm 145
Praise of God’s majesty


Lord, you are the Just One, who was and who is (Revelation 16:5).

I

I will give you glory, O God my King, *
I will bless your name forever.

I will bless you day after day *
and praise your name for ever.
The Lord is great, highly to be praised, *
his greatness cannot be measured.

Age to age shall proclaim your works, *
shall declare your mighty deeds,
shall speak of your splendor and glory, *
tell the tale of your wonderful works.

They will speak of your terrible deeds, *
recount your greatness and might.
They will recall your abundant goodness; *
age to age shall ring out your justice.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion, *
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all, *
compassionate to all his creatures.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Alleluia, God has raised up Christ from the dead and given him glory, alleluia.

Ant. 2 Alleluia, praise be to you, O Lord, beyond the highest heavens, alleluia.

II

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord, *
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign *
and declare your might, O God,

to make known to men your mighty deeds *
and the glorious splendor of your reign.
Yours is an everlasting kingdom; *
your rule lasts from age to age.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Alleluia, praise be to you, O Lord, beyond the highest heavens, alleluia.

Ant. 3 Alleluia, all power in heaven and on earth has been given to me, alleluia.

III

The Lord is faithful in all his words *
and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall *
and raises all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all creatures look to you *
and you give them their food in due time.
You open wide your hand, *
grant the desires of all who live.

The Lord is just in all his ways *
and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him, *
who call on him from their hearts.

He grants the desires of those who fear him, *
he hears their cry and he saves them.
The Lord protects all who love him; *
but the wicked he will utterly destroy.

Let me speak the praise of the Lord,
let all mankind bless his holy name *
for ever, for ages unending.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Lord, be near to all who call upon you in truth and increase the dedication of those who revere you. Hear their prayers and save them, that we may always love and praise your holy name.

Ant. Alleluia, all power in heaven and on earth has been given to me, alleluia.

My whole body rejoices, alleluia.
With all my strength I will praise my God, alleluia.

READINGS

FIRST READING

From the book of Revelation
6:1-17

The Lamb opens the seals of the book of God

I, John, watched while the Lamb broke open the first of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures cry out in a voice like thunder, “Come forward!” To my surprise I saw a white horse; its rider had a bow, and he was given a crown. He rode forth victorious, to conquer yet again.

When the Lamb broke open the second seal, I heard the second living creature cry out, “Come forward!” Another horse came forth, a red one. Its rider was given power to rob the earth of peace by allowing men to slaughter one another. For this he was given a huge sword.

When the Lamb broke open the third seal, I heard the third living creature cry out, “Come forward!” This time I saw a black horse, the rider of which held a pair of scales in his hand. I heard what seemed to be a voice coming from in among the four living creatures. It said: “A day’s pay for a ration of wheat and the same for three of barley! But spare the olive oil and the wine!”

When the Lamb broke open the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature cry out, “Come forward!” Now I saw a horse sickly green in color. Its rider was named Death, and the nether world was in his train. These four were given authority over one quarter of the earth, to kill with sword and famine and plague and the wild beasts of the earth.

When the Lamb broke open the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the spirits of those who had been martyred because of the witness they bore to the word of God. They cried out at the top of their voices: “How long will it be, O Master, holy and true, before you judge our cause and avenge our blood among the inhabitants of the earth?” Each of the martyrs was given a long white robe, and they were told to be patient a little while longer until the quota was filled of their fellow servants and brothers to be slain, as they had been.

When I saw the Lamb break open the sixth seal, there was a violent earthquake; the sun turned black as a goat’s hair tentcloth and the moon grew red as blood. The stars in the sky fell crashing to earth like figs shaken loose by a mighty wind. Then the sky disappeared as if it were a scroll being rolled up; every mountain and island was uprooted from its base. The kings of the earth, the nobles and those in command, the wealthy and powerful, the slave and the free—all hid themselves in caves and mountain crags. They cried out to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us! Hide us from the face of the One who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! The great day of their vengeance has come. Who can withstand it?”

RESPONSORY
Revelation 6:9, 10, 11

I heard the voices of those who had been slain
crying out from under the altar:
Why do you not avenge our blood?
The Lord answered:
Be patient a little while longer
until the full number of your brothers joins you, alleluia.

They were given white robes to wear
and he said to them:
Be patient a little while longer
until the full number of your brothers joins you, alleluia.

SECOND READING

From the first apology in defense of the Christians by Saint Justin, martyr
(Cap. 66-67: PB 6, 427-431)

The celebration of the eucharist

No one may share the eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.

We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.

The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.

On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.

On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen.” The eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.

The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.

We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.

RESPONSORY

When he was about to pass from this world to the Father,
Jesus established a memorial of his death:
he gave us the sacrament of his body and blood, alleluia.

He gave us his body as food, his blood as drink,
and he said:
Do this in memory of me.
He gave us the sacrament of his body and blood, alleluia.

If the Optional Vigil is not celebrated the Office continues with the Te Deum.


OPTIONAL VIGIL


CANTICLES


Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord who has risen from the dead; through his cross joy came into the world, alleluia.

Canticle I: Isaiah 63:1-5
The Lord alone has triumphed over the enemy

By the blood of the Lamb they defeated the dragon (see Revelation 12:11).

Who is this that comes from Edom, *
in crimsoned garments, from Bozrah—
This one arrayed in majesty, *
marching in the greatness of his strength?

“It is I, I who announce vindication, *
I who am mighty to save.”
Why is your apparel red, *
and your garments like those of the wine presser?

“The wine press I have trodden alone, *
and of my people there was no one with me.
I trod them in my anger, *
and trampled them down in my wrath;
their blood spurted on my garments; *
all my apparel I stained.

For the day of vengeance was in my heart, *
my year for redeeming was at hand.
I looked about, but there was no one to help, *
I was appalled that there was no one to lend support;
so my own arm brought about the victory *
and my own wrath lent me its support.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Canticle II: Hosea 6:1-6
The Lord is compassionate; he desires mercy and not sacrifice

On the third day Christ rose from the dead in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4)

Come, let us return to the Lord,
for it is he who has rent, but he will heal us; *
he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.

He will revive us after two days;
on the third day he will raise us up, *
to live in his presence.

Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord;
as certain as the dawn is his coming, *
and his judgment shines forth like the light of day!

He will come to us like the rain, *
like spring rain that waters the earth.

What can I do with you, Ephraim? *
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your piety is like a morning cloud, *
like the dew that early passes away.

For this reason I smote them through the prophets, *
I slew them by the words of my mouth;
for it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, *
and knowledge of God rather than holocausts.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Canticle III: Zephaniah 3:8-13
In the end the remnant of Israel will be saved

Isaiah proclaimed this about Israel: Though the Israelites be as numerous as the sands of the sea, only a remnant will be saved (Romans 9:27).

Wait for me, says the Lord, *
against the day when I arise as accuser;
for it is my decision to gather together the nations, *
to assemble the kingdoms,

in order to pour out upon them my wrath, *
all my blazing anger;
for in the fire of my jealousy *
shall all the earth be consumed.

For then I will change and purify *
the lips of the peoples,
that they all may call upon the name of the Lord, *
to serve him with one accord;

from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
and as far as the recesses of the North, *
they shall bring me offerings.

On that day *
you need not be ashamed
of all your deeds, *
your rebellious actions against me;

for then will I remove from your midst *
the proud braggarts,
and you shall no longer exalt yourself *
on my holy mountain.

But I will leave as a remnant in your midst *
a people humble and lowly,
who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord: *
the remnant of Israel.

They shall do no wrong *
and speak no lies;
nor shall there be found in their mouths *
a deceitful tongue;
they shall pasture and couch their flocks *
with none to disturb them.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord who has risen from the dead; through his cross joy came into the world, alleluia.

THE HOLY GOSPEL


+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John
20:19-31

The appearance of Jesus after eight days.

On the evening of that first day of the week, even though the disciples had locked the doors of the place where they were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood before them. “Peace be with you,” he said. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. At the sight of the Lord the disciples rejoiced. “Peace be with you,” he said again.

   “As the Father has sent me,
   so I send you.”

   Then he breathed on them and said:

   “Receive the Holy Spirit.
   If you forgive men’s sins,
   they are forgiven them;
   if you hold them bound,
   they are held bound.”

It happened that one of the Twelve, Thomas (the name means “Twin”), was absent when Jesus came. The other disciples kept telling him: “We have seen the Lord!” His answer was, “I’ll never believe it without probing the nail-prints in his hands, without putting my finger in the nail-marks and my hand into his side.”

A week later, the disciples were once more in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came and stood before them. “Peace be with you,” he said; then, to Thomas: “Take your finger and examine my hands. Put your hand into my side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!” Thomas said in response, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus then said to him:
   “You became a believer because you saw me.
   Blest are they who have not seen and have believed.”

Jesus performed many other signs as well—signs not recorded here—in the presence of his disciples. But these have been recorded to help you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, so that through this faith you may have life in his name.

A homily on the Gospel may be given.

TE DEUM


You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
   Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
   heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
   Father, of majesty unbounded,
   your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
   and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free
you did not shun the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
R. Govern and uphold them now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you.
R. We praise your name for ever.
V. Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. for we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope:
R. and we shall never hope in vain.

The concluding part of the hymn may be omitted

CONCLUDING PRAYER


Let us pray.

Father,
help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior
lives with you in glory
and promised to remain with us until the end of time.
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.

Or:

May your people exult for ever, O God,
in renewed youthfulness of spirit,
so that, rejoicing now in the restored glory of our adoption,
we may look forward in confident hope
to the rejoicing of the day of resurrection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION


Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

If the Ascension is celebrated, the following is used:

INVITATORY


The Invitatory may be said for the first ‘hour’ recited in the day.

Lord, + open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Psalm 95
A call to praise God

Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
  and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
  and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
  the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
  and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
  the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship *
  bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
  the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord: *
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
  in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah
  they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray *
  and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
  “They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

If the Invitatory is not said, then the following is used:

God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Greeting the dawn of this great feast
Our hearts are filled with joy today,
When we recall how Christ our God
Ascended to his realms of light.

Winner for ever in the strife
Against the prince of death and sin,
Glory of all creation’s hope,
Before the Father’s face he stands.

Brightest of clouds hid him from sight,
But pledge remained of life to come,
Since Paradise can now be ours
Which our first parents host by sin.

Greatest of joys mankind can claim,
That he whom holy Mary bore,
Reigns at his Father’s side in pow’r,
His Cross and bitter Passion past.

Saving Avenger of our race,
To him our grateful hearts we raise;
In his immortal deity
Our mortal nature dwells on high.

We have a lasting cause for joy,
Which all the saints and angels share;
Theirs is the bliss of seeing him,
And we still know that he is near.

Jesus, in splendor bright enthroned,
Keep all our hearts at rest in you,
Sending your Spirit down to us,
To teach the Father’s love for all. Amen.

Melody: Duke Street, L.M.
Music: John Hatton, ca. 1710-1793
Text: Optatus votis omnium. © Benedictines of St. Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK. Used with permission.     .

PSALMODY


Ant. 1 Sing to God, sing psalms to his name, make a path for him who rides high above the clouds, alleluia.

Psalm 68
The Lord’s triumphant entrance into his sanctuary

Ascending on high he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:10).

I

Let God arise, let his foes be scattered. *
Let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is blown away so will they be blown away;
like wax that melts before the fire, *
so the wicked shall perish at the presence of God.

But the just shall rejoice at the presence of God, *
they shall exult and dance for joy.
O sing to the Lord, make music to his name;
make a highway for him who rides on the clouds. *
Rejoice in the Lord, exult at his presence.

Father of the orphan, defender of the widow, *
such is God in his holy place.
God gives the lonely a home to live in;
he leads the prisoners forth into freedom; *
but rebels must dwell in a parched land.

When you went forth, O God, at the head of your people, *
when you marched across the desert, the earth trembled:
the heavens melted at the presence of God, *
at the presence of God, Israel’s God.

You poured down, O God, a generous rain; *
when your people were starved you gave them new life.
It was there that your people found a home, *
prepared in your goodness, O God, for the poor.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Sing to God, sing psalms to his name, make a path for him who rides high above the clouds, alleluia.

Ant. 2 The Lord God ascended on high; he has led captivity captive, alleluia.

II

The Lord gives the word to the bearers of good tidings: *
The Almighty has defeated a numberless army
and king sand armies are in flight, in flight *
while you were at rest among the sheepfolds.

At home the women already share the spoil. *
They are covered with silver as the wings of a dove,
its feathers brilliant with shining gold *
and jewels flashing like snow on Mount Zalmon.

The mountains of Bashan are mighty mountains; *
high-ridged mountains are the mountains of Bashan.
Why look with envy, you high-ridged mountains,
at the mountain where God has chosen to dwell? *
It is there that the Lord shall dwell for ever.

The chariots of God are thousands upon thousands. *
The Lord has come from Sinai to the holy place.
You have gone up on high; you have taken captives,
receiving men and women in tribute, O God, *
even those who rebel, into your dwelling, O Lord.

May the Lord be blessed day after day. *
He bears our burdens, God our savior;
this God of ours is a God who saves. *
The Lord our God holds the keys of death.
And God will smite the head of his foes, *
the crown of those who persist in their sins.

The Lord said: “I will bring them back from Bashan; *
I will bring them back from the depth of the sea.
Then your feet will tread in their blood *
and the tongues of your dogs take their share of the foe.”

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The Lord God ascended on high; he has led captivity captive, alleluia.

Ant. 3 They see your procession, O God, the procession of my God and king to the sanctuary, alleluia.

III

They see your solemn procession, O God, *
the procession of my God, of my king, to the sanctuary:
the singers in the forefront, the musicians coming last, *
between them, maidens sounding their timbrels.

“In festive gatherings, bless the Lord; *
bless God, O you who are Israel’s sons.”
There is Benjamin, least of the tribes, at the head,
Judah’s princes, a mighty throng, *
Zebulun’s princes, Naphtali’s princes.

Show forth, O God, show forth your might, *
your might, O God, which you have shown for us.
For the sake of your temple high in Jerusalem *
may nations come to you bringing their tribute.

Threaten the wild beast that dwells in the reeds, *
the bands of the mighty and lords of the peoples.
Let them bow down offering silver. *
Scatter the peoples who delight in war.
Princes will make their way from Egypt; *
Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God.

Kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, praise the Lord *
who rides on the heavens, the ancient heavens.
He thunders his voice, his mighty voice. *
Come, acknowledge the power of God.

His glory is on Israel; his might is in the skies. *
God is to be feared in his holy place.
He is the Lord, Israel’s God. *
He gives strength and power to his people.

Blessed be God!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, King of the universe, you have given us joy in your holy meal. Help us to understand the significance of your death and to acknowledge you as the conqueror of death seated at the right hand of the Father.

Ant. They see your procession, O God, the procession of my God and king to the sanctuary, alleluia.

The Lord opened their minds, alleluia.
That they might understand the Scriptures, alleluia.

READINGS


FIRST READING

From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians
4:1-24

He ascended to heaven and led captivity captive

I plead with you, as a prisoner for the Lord, to live a life worthy of the calling you have received, with perfect humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another lovingly. Make every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force. There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is but one hope given all of you by your call. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and works through all, and is in all.

Each of us has received God’s favor in the measure in which Christ bestows it. Thus you find Scripture saying:

   “When he ascended on high, he took a host of captives
   and gave gifts to men.”

“He ascended”—what does this mean but that he had first descended into the lower regions of the earth? He who descended is the very one who ascended high above the heavens, that he might fill all men with his gifts.

It is he who gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in roles of service for the faithful to build up the body of Christ, till we become one in faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, and form that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature.

Let us, then, be children no longer, tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill in proposing error. Rather, let us profess the truth in love and grow to the full maturity of Christ the head. Through him the whole body grows, and with the proper functioning of the members joined firmly together by each supporting ligament, builds itself up in love.

I declare and solemnly attest in the Lord that you must no longer live as the pagans do—their minds empty, their understanding darkened. They are estranged from a life in God because of their ignorance and their resistance; without remorse they have abandoned themselves to lust and the indulgence of every sort of lewd conduct.

That is not what you learned when you learned Christ! I am supposing, of course, that he has been preached and taught to you in accord with the truth that is in Jesus: namely, that you must lay aside your former way of life and the old self which deteriorates through illusion and desire, and acquire a fresh, spiritual way of thinking. You must put on that new man created in God’s image, whose justice and holiness are born of truth.

RESPONSORY
Ephesians 4:8; Psalms 68:19; Psalms 47:6

When Christ ascended on high,
he led captivity captive,
he gave gifts to men, alleluia.

God ascends to shouts of joy,
the Lord to the blasts of trumpets.
He gave gifts to men, alleluia.

SECOND READING

From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo de Ascensione Domini, Mai 98, 1-2: PLS 2, 494-495)

No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven

Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. Listen to the words of the Apostle: If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. For just as he remained with us even after his ascension, so we too are already in heaven with him, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies.

Christ is now exalted above the heavens, but he still suffers on earth all the pain that we, the members of his body, have to bear. He showed this when he cried out from above: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? and when he said: I was hungry and you gave me food.

Why do we on earth not strive to find rest with him in heaven even now, through the faith, hope and love that unites us to him? While in heaven he is also with us; and we while on earth are with him. He is here with us by his divinity, his power and his love. We cannot be in heaven, as he is on earth, by divinity, but in him, we can be there by love.

He did not leave heaven when he came down to us; nor did he withdraw from us when he went up again into heaven. The fact that he was in heaven even while he was on earth is borne out by his own statement: No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.

These words are explained by our oneness with Christ, for he is our head and we are his body. No one ascended into heaven except Christ because we also are Christ: he is the Son of Man by his union with us, and we by our union with him are the sons of God. So the Apostle says: Just as the human body, which has many members, is a unity, because all the different members make one body, so is it also with Christ. He too has many members, but one body.

Out of compassion for us he descended from heaven, and although he ascended alone, we also ascend, because we are in him by grace. Thus, no one but Christ descended and no one but Christ ascended; not because there is no distinction between the head and the body, but because the body as a unity cannot be separated from the head.

RESPONSORY
Acts 1:3, 9, 4

During the forty days after his passion,
he appeared to them and spoke with them about the kingdom of God.
As they watched, he was lifted up,
and a cloud took him from their sight, alleluia.

While he was with them,
he told them not to leave Jerusalem,
but to wait there for the fulfillment of the Father’s promise.
As they watched, he was lifted up,
and a cloud took him from their sight, alleluia.

If the Optional Vigil is not celebrated the Office continues with the Te Deum.


OPTIONAL VIGIL


CANTICLES


Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord who has risen from the dead; through his cross joy came into the world, alleluia.

Canticle I: Isaiah 63:1-5
The Lord alone has triumphed over the enemy

By the blood of the Lamb they defeated the dragon (see Revelation 12:11).

Who is this that comes from Edom, *
in crimsoned garments, from Bozrah—
This one arrayed in majesty, *
marching in the greatness of his strength?

“It is I, I who announce vindication, *
I who am mighty to save.”
Why is your apparel red, *
and your garments like those of the wine presser?

“The wine press I have trodden alone, *
and of my people there was no one with me.
I trod them in my anger, *
and trampled them down in my wrath;
their blood spurted on my garments; *
all my apparel I stained.

For the day of vengeance was in my heart, *
my year for redeeming was at hand.
I looked about, but there was no one to help, *
I was appalled that there was no one to lend support;
so my own arm brought about the victory *
and my own wrath lent me its support.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Canticle II: Hosea 6:1-6
The Lord is compassionate; he desires mercy and not sacrifice

On the third day Christ rose from the dead in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4)

Come, let us return to the Lord,
for it is he who has rent, but he will heal us; *
he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.

He will revive us after two days;
on the third day he will raise us up, *
to live in his presence.

Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord;
as certain as the dawn is his coming, *
and his judgment shines forth like the light of day!

He will come to us like the rain, *
like spring rain that waters the earth.

What can I do with you, Ephraim? *
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your piety is like a morning cloud, *
like the dew that early passes away.

For this reason I smote them through the prophets, *
I slew them by the words of my mouth;
for it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, *
and knowledge of God rather than holocausts.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Canticle III: Zephaniah 3:8-13
In the end the remnant of Israel will be saved

Isaiah proclaimed this about Israel: Though the Israelites be as numerous as the sands of the sea, only a remnant will be saved (Romans 9:27).

Wait for me, says the Lord, *
against the day when I arise as accuser;
for it is my decision to gather together the nations, *
to assemble the kingdoms,

in order to pour out upon them my wrath, *
all my blazing anger;
for in the fire of my jealousy *
shall all the earth be consumed.

For then I will change and purify *
the lips of the peoples,
that they all may call upon the name of the Lord, *
to serve him with one accord;

from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
and as far as the recesses of the North, *
they shall bring me offerings.

On that day *
you need not be ashamed
of all your deeds, *
your rebellious actions against me;

for then will I remove from your midst *
the proud braggarts,
and you shall no longer exalt yourself *
on my holy mountain.

But I will leave as a remnant in your midst *
a people humble and lowly,
who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord: *
the remnant of Israel.

They shall do no wrong *
and speak no lies;
nor shall there be found in their mouths *
a deceitful tongue;
they shall pasture and couch their flocks *
with none to disturb them.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship the Lord who has risen from the dead; through his cross joy came into the world, alleluia.

THE HOLY GOSPEL


A reading from the conclusion of the holy Gospel according to Matthew
28:16-20

All power in heaven and earth has been given to me.

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.”

Or:

+ A reading from the conclusion of the holy Gospel according to Luke
24:46-53

As he blessed them, he was taken up to heaven.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer
   and rise from the dead on the third day
   and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
   would be preached in his name
    to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;
   but stay in the city
   until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
   raised his hands, and blessed them.
As he blessed them he parted from them
   and was taken up to heaven.
They did him homage
   and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
   and they were continually in the temple praising God.

A homily on the Gospel may be given.

TE DEUM


You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
   Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
   heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
   Father, of majesty unbounded,
   your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
   and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free
you did not shun the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
R. Govern and uphold them now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you.
R. We praise your name for ever.
V. Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. for we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope:
R. and we shall never hope in vain.

The final part of the hymn may be omitted.

CONCLUDING PRAYER


Let us pray.

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.

Or:

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God,
and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving,
for the Ascension of Christ your Son
is our exaltation,
and, where the Head has gone before us in glory,
the Body is called to follow in hope.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who believe that your Only Begotten Son, our Redeemer,
ascended this day to the heavens,
may in spirit dwell already in heavenly realms.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION


Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.
28 posted on 05/20/2012 3:34:36 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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Lauds

The texts for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord follow those for the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Please scroll down for the Ascension texts.

INVITATORY


The Invitatory may be said for the first ‘hour’ recited in the day.

Lord, + open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Psalm 95
A call to praise God

Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
   and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
   and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
   the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
   and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
   the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship *
   bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
   the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
   in the wilderness, *
when at Meriba and Massah
   they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant.Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Forty years I endured that generation. *
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
   and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
   “They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us adore Christ the Lord who promised to send the Holy Spirit on his people, alleluia.

If the Invitatory is not said, then the following is used:

God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN


Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ our heav’nly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!

But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now He rules eternal King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!

Praise to God the Father sing, Alleluia!
Praise to God the Son, our King, Alleluia!
Praise to God the Spirit be, Alleluia!
Now and through eternity, Alleluia!

Tune: Easter Hymn 77.77 with alleluia
Music: Lyra Davidica, 1708
Text: I. Latin Carol, para. In Lyra Davidica, 1708, alt Stanzas 2,3, The Compleat Psalmodist, 1749, alt. St. 4, William Reynolds, 1860

Or:

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Ye sons and daughters, let us sing!
The King of Heav’n, the glorious King,
O’er death today rose triumphing.
Alleluia!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
That Easter morn, at break of day,
The faithful women went their way
To seek the tomb where Jesus lay.
Alleluia!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
An angel clad in white they see,
Who sat, and spoke unto the three,
“Your Lord doth go to Galilee.”
Alleluia!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
On this most holy day of days,
To God your hearts and voices raise,
In laud and jubilee and praise.
Alleluia!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
And we with Holy Church unite,
As evermore is just and right,
In glory to the King of light.
Alleluia!

Tune: O Filii et Filiae 88.88 with alleluias.
Music: Seventeenth Century French Proper Melody
Text: Jean Tisserand, d. 1495
Translation: John Mason Neale, 1818-1866, alt.

PSALMODY


Ant. 1 The Lord is king, robed in splendor, alleluia.

Psalm 93
Splendor of God the Creator


The Lord our mighty God now reigns supreme; let us rejoice and be glad and give him praise (Revelation 19:6-7).

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed;
the Lord has robed himself with might, *
he has girded himself with power.

The world you made firm, not to be moved;
your throne has stood firm from of old. *
From all eternity, O Lord, you are.

The waters have lifted up, O Lord,
the waters have lifted up their voice, *
the waters have lifted up their thunder.

Greater than the roar of mighty waters
more glorious than the surgings of the sea, *
the Lord is glorious on high.

Truly your decrees are to be trusted.
Holiness is fitting to your house, *
O Lord, until the end of time.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

All power and all authority in heaven and earth have been given to you, Lord Jesus; you rule with decrees that are firm and trustworthy. Be with us always so that we may make disciples whose holiness will be worthy of your house.

Ant. The Lord is king, robed in splendor, alleluia.

Ant. 2 All creation will be freed; all peoples will know the glory and freedom of God’s children, alleluia.

Canticle: Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord


All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant. All creation will be freed; all peoples will know the glory and freedom of God’s children, alleluia.

Ant. 3 The name of the Lord is praised in heaven and on earth, alleluia.

Psalm 148
Praise to the Lord, the Creator


Praise and honor, glory and power for ever to him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb (Revelation 5:13).

Praise the Lord from the heavens, *
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all his angels, *
praise him, all his host.

Praise him, sun and moon, *
praise him, shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens *
and the waters above the heavens.

Let them praise the name of the Lord. *
He commanded: they were made.
He fixed them for ever, *
gave a law which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth, *
sea creatures and all oceans,
fire and hail, snow and mist, *
stormy winds that obey his word;

all mountains and hills, *
all fruit trees and cedars,
beasts, wild and tame, *
reptiles and birds on the wing;

all earth’s kings and peoples, *
earth’s princes and rulers,
young men and maidens, *
old men together with children.

Let them praise the name of the Lord *
for he alone is exalted.
The splendor of his name *
reaches beyond heaven and earth.

He exalts the strength of his people. *
He is the praise of all his saints,
of the sons of Israel, *
of the people to whom he comes close.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Lord, extolled in the heights by angelic powers, you are also praised by all earth’s creatures, each in its own way. With all the splendor of heavenly worship, you still delight in such tokens of love as earth can offer. May heaven and earth together acclaim you as king; may the praise that is sung in heaven resound in the heart of every creature on earth.

Ant. The name of the Lord is praised in heaven and on earth, alleluia.

READING

Acts 10:40-43

God raised up Jesus on the third day and granted that he be seen, not by all, but only by such witnesses as had been chosen beforehand by God—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and to bear witness that he is the one set apart by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets testify, saying that everyone who believes in him has forgiveness of sins through his name.

RESPONSORY


Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us, alleluia, alleluia.
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us, alleluia, alleluia.

You have risen from the dead,
alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us, alleluia, alleluia.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH


Ant. Father, I have glorified you upon the earth, I have accomplished the work you gave me to do, alleluia.

Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and his forerunner


Blessed + be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
  that he would save us from our enemies, *
  from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
   all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Father, I have glorified you upon the earth, I have accomplished the work you gave me to do, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS


In company with all who have been reconciled with the Father by the power of the Holy Spriit, let us join in prayer and praise, saying:
May your Spirit come to our aid.

Lord Jesus, may we be guided today by God’s Spirit,
and walk always as children of your Father.
May your Spirit come to our aid.

Through your Spirit intercede for us with the Father,
that we may be made worthy to receive what you promise.
May your Spirit come to our aid.

Give us a genrous heart, that we may not seek our selfish interests,
but be concerned for the good of others.
May your Spirit come to our aid.

Teach us to know God,
that we may advance in knowledge of you and the Father through the Holy Spirit.
May your Spirit come to our aid.

THE LORD’S PRAYER


(Gathering our prayer and praises into one, let us offer the prayer Christ himself taught us:)

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.

CONCLUDING PRAYER


Father,
help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior,
lives with you in glory
and promised to remain with us until the end of time.
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.

Or:

Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord,
so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race
is with you in your glory,
may experience, as he promised,
until the end of the world,
his abiding presence among us.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL


May the Lord bless + us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

If the Ascension is celebrated, the following is used:

INVITATORY


The Invitatory may be said for the first ‘hour’ recited in the day.

Lord, + open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Psalm 95
A call to praise God

Encourage each other daily while it is still today (Hebrews 3:13).

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
  and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
  and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
  the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
  and the highest mountains as well.
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
  the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship *
  bending the knee before the Lord, our maker.
For he is our God and we are his people, *
  the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord: *
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
  in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah
  they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Forty years I endured that generation. *
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
  and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
  “They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Alleluia, come, let us worship Christ the Lord as he ascends into heaven, alleluia.

If the Invitatory is not said, then the following is used:

God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN


Greeting the dawn of this great feast
Our hearts are filled with joy today,
When we recall how Christ our God
Ascended to his realms of light.

Winner for ever in the strife
Against the prince of death and sin,
Glory of all creation’s hope,
Before the Father’s face he stands.

Brightest of clouds hid him from sight,
But pledge remained of life to come,
Since Paradise can now be ours
Which our first parents host by sin.

Greatest of joys mankind can claim,
That he whom holy Mary bore,
Reigns at his Father’s side in pow’r,
His Cross and bitter Passion past.

Saving Avenger of our race,
To him our grateful hearts we raise;
In his immortal deity
Our mortal nature dwells on high.

We have a lasting cause for joy,
Which all the saints and angels share;
Theirs is the bliss of seeing him,
And we still know that he is near.

Jesus, in splendor bright enthroned,
Keep all our hearts at rest in you,
Sending your Spirit down to us,
To teach the Father’s love for all. Amen.

Melody: Duke Street, L.M.
Music: John Hatton, ca. 1710-1793
Text: Optatus votis omnium. © Benedictines of Saint Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK. Used with permission.

PSALMODY


Ant. 1 Men of Galilee, why are you looking up into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up into heaven will return in the same way, alleluia.

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you *
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Father, creator of unfailing light, give that same light to those who call to you. May our lips praise you; our lives proclaim your goodness; our work give you honor, and our voices celebrate you for ever.

Ant. Men of Galilee, why are you looking up into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up into heaven will return in the same way, alleluia.

Ant. 2 Give glory to the King of kings, sing praise to God, alleluia.

Canticle: Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. Give glory to the King of kings, sing praise to God, alleluia.

Ant. 3 As they watched, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight, alleluia.

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. * 
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Let Israel rejoice in you, Lord, and acknowledge you as creator and redeemer. We put our trust in your faithfulness and proclaim the wonderful truths of salvation. May your loving kindness embrace us now and for ever.

Ant. As they watched, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight, alleluia.

READING

Hebrews 10:12-14

Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are placed beneath his feet. By one offering he has forever perfected those who are being sanctified.

RESPONSORY


Christ ascended into heaven, alleluia, alleluia.
Christ ascended into heaven, alleluia, alleluia.

He led captivity captive,
alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Christ ascended into heaven, alleluia, alleluia.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH


Ant. I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God, alleluia.

Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed + be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
  that he would save us from our enemies, *
  from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
   all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS


The Lord has been lifted high above the earth and draws all things to himself. Let us cry out to him in our joy:
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

Lord Jesus, King of glory, you were offered once as the victim for sins, and ascended to the right hand of the Father,
make perfect for all time those whom you sanctify.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

Eternal Priest and minister of the new Covenant, you live for ever to make intercession for us,
save the people that prays to you.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

You showed yourself alive after your passion and appeared to the disciples for forty days,
confirm our faith today.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

Today you promised the Spirit to your apostles, to make them your witnesses to the ends of the earth,
by the power of the Spirit strengthen our own witness.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

(Remember us, Lord, when you come to your kingdom and teach us how to pray:)

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.

CONCLUDING PRAYER


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.

Or:

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God,
and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving,
for the Ascension of Christ your Son
is our exaltation,
and, where the Head has gone before us in glory,
the Body is called to follow in hope.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who believe that your Only Begotten Son, our Redeemer,
ascended this day to the heavens,
may in spirit dwell already in heavenly realms.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL


May the Lord bless + us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.
29 posted on 05/20/2012 3:34:47 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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Daytime Prayer

The texts for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord follow those for the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Please scroll down for the Ascension texts.

INTRODUCTION


God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN


Alleluia! sing to Jesus!
His the scepter, his the throne;
Alleluia! his the triumph,
His the victory alone:
Hark! the songs of peaceful Sion
Thunder like a mighty flood;
Jesus, out of ev’ry nation,
Has redeemed us by his Blood.

Alleluia! not as orphans
Are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us,
Faith believes nor questions how:
Though the cloud from sight received him,
When the forty days were o’er
Shall our hearts forget his promise,
“I am with you evermore”?

Alleluia! Bread of angels,
Thou on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia! here the sinful
Flee to thee from day to day:
Intercessor, friend of sinners,
Earth’s Redeemer, plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless
Sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia! King eternal,
Thee, the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary,
Earth thy footstool, heav’n thy throne:
Thou within the veil has entered,
Robed in flesh, our great High Priest;
Thou on earth both Priest and Victim
In the Eucharistic feast.

Tune: Hyfrydol 87.87 D
Music: R. H. Prichard, 1811-1887
Text: William Chatterton Dix, 1837-1898

PSALMODY


Ant. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Psalm 118
Song of joy for salvation


This Jesus is the stone which, rejected by you builders, has become the chief stone supporting all the rest (Acts 4:11).

I

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, *
for his love endures for ever.

Let the sons of Israel say: *
“His love endures for ever.”
Let the sons of Aaron say: *
“His love endures for ever”
Let those who fear the Lord say: *
“His love endures for ever.”

I called to the Lord in my distress; *
he answered and freed me.
The Lord is at my side; I do not fear. *
What can man do against me?
The Lord is at my side as my helper: *
I shall look down on my foes.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord *
than to trust in men:
it is better to take refuge in the Lord *
than to trust in princes.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

II

The nations all encompassed me; *
in the Lord’s name I crushed them.
They compassed me, compassed me about; *
in the Lord’s name I crushed them.
They compassed me about like bees;
they blazed like a fire among thorns. *
In the Lord’s name I crushed them.

I was hard-pressed and was falling *
but the Lord came to help me.
The Lord is my strength and my song; *
he is my savior.
There are shouts of joy and victory *
in the tents of the just.

The Lord’s right hand has triumphed; *
his right hand raised me up.
The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
I shall not die, I shall live *
and recount his deeds.
I was punished, I was punished by the Lord, *
but not doomed to die.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

III

Open to me the gates of holiness: *
I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord’s own gate *
where the just may enter.
I will thank you for you have answered *
and you are my savior.

The stone which the builders rejected *
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord, *
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord; *
we rejoice and are glad.

O Lord, grant us salvation; *
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord *
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord; *
the Lord God is our light.

Go forward in procession with branches *
even to the altar.
You are my God, I thank you. *
My God, I praise you.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; *
for his love endures for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Lord God, you have given us the great day of rejoicing: Jesus Christ, the stone rejected by the builders, has become the cornerstone of the Church, our spiritual home. Shed upon your Church the rays of your glory, that it may be seen as the gate of salvation open to all nations. Let cries of joy and exultation ring out from its tents to celebrate the wonder of Christ’s resurrection.

Ant. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

At the other hours, the complementary psalmody is used.

MIDMORNING


READING
See 1 Corinthians 15:3b-5

Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; he was buried and, in accordance with the Scriptures, rose on the third day; he was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve.

This is the day the Lord has made, alleluia.
Let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Father,
help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior,
lives with you in glory
and promised to remain with us until the end of time.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord,
so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race
is with you in your glory,
may experience, as he promised,
until the end of the world,
his abiding presence among us.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

MIDDAY


READING
Ephesians 2:4-6

But God is rich in mercy; because of his great love for us he brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin. By this favor you were saved. Both with and in Christ Jesus he raised us up and gave us a place in the heavens.

This is the day the Lord has made, alleluia.
Let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Father,
help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior,
lives with you in glory
and promised to remain with us until the end of time.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord,
so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race
is with you in your glory,
may experience, as he promised,
until the end of the world,
his abiding presence among us.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

MIDAFTERNOON


READING
Romans 6:4

Through baptism into Christ’s death we were buried with him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life.

This is the day the Lord has made, alleluia.
Let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Father,
help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior,
lives with you in glory
and promised to remain with us until the end of time.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord,
so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race
is with you in your glory,
may experience, as he promised,
until the end of the world,
his abiding presence among us.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.


If the Ascension is celebrated, the following is used:

INTRODUCTION


God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN


Alleluia! sing to Jesus!
His the scepter, his the throne;
Alleluia! his the triumph,
His the victory alone:
Hark! the songs of peaceful Sion
Thunder like a mighty flood;
Jesus, out of ev’ry nation,
Has redeemed us by his Blood.

Alleluia! not as orphans
Are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us,
Faith believes nor questions how:
Though the cloud from sight received him,
When the forty days were o’er
Shall our hearts forget his promise,
“I am with you evermore”?

Alleluia! Bread of angels,
Thou on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia! here the sinful
Flee to thee from day to day:
Intercessor, friend of sinners,
Earth’s Redeemer, plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless
Sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia! King eternal,
Thee, the Lord of lords we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary,
Earth thy footstool, heav’n thy throne:
Thou within the veil has entered,
Robed in flesh, our great High Priest;
Thou on earth both Priest and Victim
In the Eucharistic feast.

Melody: Hyfrydol 87.87.D
Music: R. H. Prichard, 1811-1887
Text: William Chatterton Dix, 1837-1898

PSALMODY


Antiphon

Midmorning: O God, your majesty is praised high above the heavens, alleluia.

Midday: From the heights of heaven he goes forth and to those heights he returns, alleluia.

Midafternoon: Raising his hands, he blessed them and was lifted up to heaven, alleluia.

Psalm 8
The majesty of the Lord and man’s dignity

The Father gave Christ lordship of creation and made him head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22).

How great is your name, O Lord our God, *
through all the earth!

Your majesty is praised above the heavens; *
on the lips of children and of babes
you have found praise to foil your enemy, *
to silence the foe and the rebel.

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands, *
the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind, *
mortal man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him little less than a god; *
with glory and honor you crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hand, *
put all things under his feet.

All of them, sheep and cattle, *
yes, even the savage beasts,
birds of the air, and fish *
that make their way through the waters.

How great is your name, O Lord our God, *
through all the earth!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Almighty Lord, how wonderful is your name. You have made every creature subject to you; make us worthy to give you service.

Psalm 19A
Praise of the Lord, Creator of all

The dawn from on high shall break on us . . . to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:78,79).

The heavens proclaim the glory of God *
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story *
and night unto night makes known the message.

No speech, no word, no voice is heard
yet their span extends through all the earth, *
their words to the utmost bounds of the world.

There he has placed a tent for the sun;
it comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his tent, *
rejoices like a champion to run its course.

At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun;
to the furthest end of the sky is its course. *
There is nothing concealed from its burning heat.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

To enlighten the world, Father, you sent to us your Word as the sun of truth and justice shining upon humankind. Illumine our eyes that we may discern your glory in the many works of your hand.

Psalm 19B
Praise of God who gave us the law of love

You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).

The law of the Lord is perfect, *
it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted, *
it gives wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right, *
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear, *
it gives light to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is holy, *
abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth *
and all of them just.

They are more to be desired than gold, *
than the purest of gold,
and sweeter are they than honey, *
than honey from the comb.

So in them your servant finds instruction; *
great reward is in their keeping.
But who can detect all his errors? *
From hidden faults acquit me.

From presumption restrain your servant *
and let it not rule me.
Then shall I be blameless, *
clean from grave sin.

May the spoken words of my mouth, *
the thoughts of my heart,
win favor in your sight, O Lord, *
my rescuer, my rock!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

May our words in praise of your commandments find favor with you, Lord. May our faith prove we are not slaves, but sons, not so much subjected to your law as sharing your power.

Antiphon

Midmorning: O God, your majesty is praised high above the heavens, alleluia.

Midday: From the heights of heaven he goes forth and to those heights he returns, alleluia.

Midafternoon: Raising his hands, he blessed them and was lifted up to heaven, alleluia.

At the other hours, the complementary psalmody is used.

MIDMORNING


READING
Revelation 1:17c-18

I beheld the Son of Man, who said to me: I am the First and the Last and the One who lives. Once I was dead but now I live—forever and ever. I hold the keys of death and the nether world.

Do not let your heart be troubled, alleluia.
I am going to the Father, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

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 Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God,
and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving,
for the Ascension of Christ your Son
is our exaltation,
and, where the Head has gone before us in glory,
the Body is called to follow in hope.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who believe that your Only Begotten Son, our Redeemer,
ascended this day to the heavens,
may in spirit dwell already in heavenly realms.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

MIDDAY


READING
Hebrews 8:1b-3a

We have such a high priest who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, minister of the sanctuary and of that true tabernacle set up, not by man, but by the Lord. Now every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices.

The Lord in heaven has prepared a royal throne, alleluia.
Christ has ascended on high, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

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 Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God,
and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving,
for the Ascension of Christ your Son
is our exaltation,
and, where the Head has gone before us in glory,
the Body is called to follow in hope.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who believe that your Only Begotten Son, our Redeemer,
ascended this day to the heavens,
may in spirit dwell already in heavenly realms.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

MIDAFTERNOON


READING
Colossians 3:1-2

Since you have been raised up in company with Christ, set your heart on what pertains to higher realms where Christ is seated at  God’s right hand. Be intent on things above rather than on things of earth.

Give glory to the King of kings, alleluia.
Sing praise to God, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

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 Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God,
and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving,
for the Ascension of Christ your Son
is our exaltation,
and, where the Head has gone before us in glory,
the Body is called to follow in hope.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Or:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who believe that your Only Begotten Son, our Redeemer,
ascended this day to the heavens,
may in spirit dwell already in heavenly realms.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

30 posted on 05/20/2012 3:34:55 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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Vespers

The texts for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord follow those for the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Please scroll down for the Ascension texts.

INTRODUCTION


God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN


Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
The strife is o’er, the battle done;
Now is the victor’s triumph won:
O let the song of praise be sung.
Alleluia!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
On the third morn he rose again,
Glorious in majesty to reign:
O let us swell the joyful strain:
Alleluia!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
O risen Lord, all praise to thee,
Who from our sins has set us free,
That we may live eternally:
Alleluia!

Tune: Victory 888 with alleluias
Music: G.P. da Palestrina, 1588 adapted with alleluias by W.H. Monk, 1861
Text: Cologne, 1695
Translation: Francis Pott, 1861, alt.

Or:

Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands
For our offenses given:
But now at God’s right hand he stands
And brings us life from heaven;
Therefore let us joyful be,
And praise the Father thankfully
With songs of Alleluia.
Alleluia.

How long and bitter was the strife
When life and death contended,
The victory remained with life,
The reign of death was ended:
Stripped of power, no more it reigns,
And empty form alone remains.
Death’s sting is lost for ever.
Alleluia.

So let us keep this festival
To which Our Lord invites us,
The Savior who is joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us:
By his grace he shall impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin has ended.
Alleluia.

Tune: Christ lag in Todesbanden
87.87.787 with alleluia
Music: Walther’s Gesangbuchlein, 1524
Text: Martin Luther, 1483-1546, based on Victimae Paschali laudes
Translation: Richard Massie, 1800-1887, adapted by Anthony G. Petti

Or:

Ad cenam Agni providi,
stolis salutis candidi,
post transitum maris Rubri
Christo canamus principi.

Cuius corpus sanctissimum
in ara crucis torridum,
sed et cruorem roseum
gustando, Deo vivimus.

Protecti paschae vespero
a devastante angelo,
de Pharaonis aspero
sumus erepti imperio.

Iam pascha nostrum Christus est,
agnus occisus innocens;
sinceritatis azyma
qui carnem suam obtulit.

O vera, digna hostia,
per quam franguntur tartara,
captiva plebs redimitur,
redduntur vitae praemia!

Consurgit Christus tumulo,
victor redit de barathro,
tyrannum trudens vinculo
et paradisum reserans.

Esto perenne mentibus
paschale, Iesu, gaudium
et nos renatos gratiae
tuis triumphis aggrega.

Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui morte victa praenites,
cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.

PSALMODY


Ant. 1 He purified us from our sins, and is seated on high at God’s right hand, alleluia.

Psalm 110:1-5, 7
The Messiah, king and priest


Christ’s reign will last until all his enemies are made subject to him (1 Corinthians 15:25).

The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
“Sit on my right: *
your foes I will put beneath your feet.”

The Lord will wield from Zion
your scepter of power: *
rule in the midst of all your foes.

A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains; *
from the womb before the dawn I begot you.

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
“You are a priest for ever, *
a priest like Melchizedeck of old.”

The Master standing at your right hand *
will shatter kings in the day of his wrath.

He shall drink from the stream by the wayside *
and therefore he shall lift up his head.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Father, we ask you to give us victory and peace. In Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, we are already seated at your right hand. We look forward to praising you in the fellowship of all your saints in our heavenly homeland.

Ant. He purified us from our sins, and is seated on high at God’s right hand, alleluia.

Ant. 2 The Lord has redeemed his people, alleluia.

Psalm 111
God’s marvelous works


We are lost in wonder at all you have done for us, our Lord and mighty God (Revelation 15:3).

I will thank the Lord with all my heart *
in the meeting of the just and their assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord, *
to be pondered by all who love them.

Majestic and glorious his work, *
his justice stands firm for ever.
He makes us remember his wonders. *
The Lord is compassion and love.

He gives food to those who fear him; *
keeps his covenant ever in mind.
He has shown his might to his people *
by giving them the lands of the nations.

His works are justice and truth, *
his precepts are all of them sure,
standing firm for ever and ever; *
they are made in uprightness and truth.

He has sent deliverance to his people
and established his covenant for ever. *
Holy his name, to be feared.

To fear the Lord is the first stage of wisdom;
all who do so prove themselves wise. *
His praise shall last for ever!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Merciful and gentle Lord, you are the crowning glory of all the saints. Give us, your children, the gift of obedience which is the beginning of wisdom, so that we may do what you command and be filled with your mercy.

Ant.
The Lord has redeemed his people, alleluia.

Ant. 3 Alleluia, our Lord is king; let us rejoice and give glory to him, alleluia.

Canticle: See Revelation 19:1-7
The wedding of the Lamb

The following canticle is said with the Alleluia when Evening Prayer is sung; when the Office if recited, the Alleluia may be said at the beginning and end of each strophe.

Alleluia.
Salvation, glory, and power to our God: *
(Alleluia.)
his judgments are honest and true. *
Alleluia (alleluia).

Alleluia.
Sing praise to our God, all you his servants, *
(Alleluia.)
all who worship him reverently, great and small. *
Alleluia (alleluia).

Alleluia.
The Lord our all-powerful God is King; *
(Alleluia.)
Let us rejoice, sing praise, and give him glory. *
Alleluia (alleluia).

Alleluia.
The wedding feast of the Lamb has begun, *
(Alleluia.)
and his bride is prepared to welcome him. *
Alleluia (alleluia).

Alleluia.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
(Alleluia.)
and to the Holy Spirit: *
Alleluia (alleluia).

Alleluia.
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
(Alleluia.)
and will be for ever. Amen. *
Alleluia (alleluia).

Ant. Alleluia, our Lord is king; let us rejoice and give glory to him, alleluia.

READING

Hebrews 10:12-14

Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are placed beneath his feet. By one offering he has forever perfected those who are being sanctified.

RESPONSORY


The Lord is risen, alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord is risen, alleluia, alleluia.

He has appeared to Simon,
alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
The Lord is risen, alleluia, alleluia.

CANTICLE OF MARY


Ant. I will send you the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father. When the Paraclete comes he will bear witness to me, alleluia.

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord


My + soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me, *
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. I will send you the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father. When the Paraclete comes he will bear witness to me, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS


We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself prays for us with inexpressible longing. Let us then say:
May the Holy Spirit pray on our behalf.

Lord Jesus, shepherd in glory, give wisdom and counsel to our shepherds,
to lead your flock more surely to salvation.
May the Holy Spirit pray on our behalf.

You are exalted in heaven, and rich in mercy,
look with compassion on the poor and needy on earth.
May the Holy Spirit pray on our behalf.


You were conceived by the Virgin Mary by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit,
sustain those vowed to virginity in the spirit of their self-offering.
May the Holy Spirit pray on our behalf.

You are our priest, offering praise to the Father in the Holy Spirit,
unite all mankind in your sacrifice of praise.
May the Holy Spirit pray on our behalf.

May the dead enter into the glorious freedom of God’s children,
and the fullness of redemption for their bodies.
May the Holy Spirit pray on our behalf.

THE LORD’S PRAYER


(Gathering our prayer and praises into one, let us offer the prayer Christ himself taught us:)

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.

CONCLUDING PRAYER


Father,
help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior,
lives with you in glory
and promised to remain with us until the end of time.
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.

Or:

Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord,
so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race
is with you in your glory,
may experience, as he promised,
until the end of the world,
his abiding presence among us.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL


May the Lord bless + us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

If the Ascension is celebrated, the following is used:

INTRODUCTION


God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now:
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty victor’s brow.

The highest place that heav’n affords
Is surely his by right:
The King of kings and Lord of lords,
And heav’n’s eternal light.

The joy he is of all above,
The joy of all below:
To ev’ryone he shows his love,
And grants his name to know.

To them the cross, with all its shame,
With all its grace, is giv’n:
Their name an everlasting name.
Their joy the joy of heav’n.

The cross he bore is life and health,
Though shame and death to him:
His people’s hope, his people’s wealth,
Their everlasting theme.

Melody: St. Magnus (Nottingham) C.M.
Music: Jeremiah Clarke, 1659-1707
Text: Thomas Kelly, 1769-1854, slightly adapted

PSALMODY


Ant. 1 He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, alleluia.

Psalm 110:1-5, 7
The Messiah, king and priest

Christ’s reign will last until all his enemies are made subject to him (1 Corinthians 15:25).

The Lord’s revelation to my Master: *
“Sit on my right:
your foes I will put beneath your feet.” *
The Lord will yield from Zion
your scepter of power: *
rule in the midst of all your foes.

A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains; *
from the womb before the dawn I begot you.

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
“You are a priest for ever, *
a priest like Melchizedeck of old.”

The Master standing at your right hand *
will shatter kings in the day of his wrath.

He shall drink from the stream by the wayside *
and therefore he shall lift up his head.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

Father, we ask you to give us victory and peace. In Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, we are already seated at your right hand. We look forward to praising you in the fellowship of all your saints in our heavenly homeland.

Ant. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, alleluia.

Ant. 2 God ascends to shouts of joy, the Lord to the blast of trumpets, alleluia.

Psalm 47
The Lord Jesus is King of all

He is seated at the right hand of the Father, and his kingdom will have no end.

All peoples, clap your hands, *
cry to God with shouts of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, we must fear, *
great king over all the earth.

He subdues peoples under us *
and nations under our feet.
Our inheritance, our glory, is from him, *
given to Jacob out of love.

God goes up with shouts of joy; *
the Lord goes up with trumpet blast.
Sing praise for God, sing praise, *
sing praise to our king, sing praise.

God is king of all the earth, *
sing praise with all your skill.
God is king over the nations; *
God reigns on his holy throne.

The princes of the people are assembled *
with the people of Abraham’s God.
The rulers of the earth belong to God, *
to God who reigns over all.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm Prayer

God, King of all peoples and all ages, it is your victory we celebrate as we sing with all the skill at our command. Help us always to overcome evil by good, that we may rejoice in your triumph for ever.

Ant. God ascends to shouts of joy, the Lord to the blast of trumpets, alleluia.

Ant. 3 Now the Son of Man has been glorified and God has been glorified in him, alleluia.

Canticle: Revelation 11:17-18; 12:10b-12a
The judgment of God

We praise you, the Lord God Almighty, *
who is and who was.
You have assumed your great power, *
you have begun your reign.

The nations have raged in anger, *
but then came your day of wrath
and the moment to judge the dead: *
The time to reward your servants the prophets
and the holy ones who revere you, *
the great and the small alike.

Now have salvation and power come,
the reign of our God and the authority *
of his Anointed One.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, *
who night and day accused them before God.

They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony; *
love for life did not deter them from death.
So rejoice, you heavens, *
and you that dwell therein!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Now the Son of Man has been glorified and God has been glorified in him, alleluia.

READING

1 Peter 3:18, 22

The reason why Christ died for sins once for all, the just man for the sake of the unjust, was that he might lead you to God. He was put to death insofar as fleshly existence goes, but was given life in the realm of the spirit. He went to heaven and is at God’s right hand, with angelic rulers and powers subjected to him.

RESPONSORY


I am ascending to my Father and your Father, alleluia, alleluia.
I am ascending to my Father and your Father, alleluia, alleluia.

To my God and your God,
alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
I am ascending to my Father and your Father, alleluia, alleluia.

CANTICLE OF MARY


Ant. O Victor King, Lord of power and might, today you have ascended in glory above the heavens. Do not leave us orphans, but send us the Father’s promised gift, the Spirit of truth, alleluia.

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord

My + soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me, *
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. O Victor King, Lord of power and might, today you have ascended in glory above the heavens. Do not leave us orphans, but send us the Father’s promised gift, the Spirit of truth, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS


In joy of spirit let us acclaim Christ, who sits at the right hand of the Father:
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

King of glory, you took with you our frail humanity to be glorified in heaven; remove the sins of the world,
and restore us to the innocence which was ours before the Fall.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

You came down from heaven on a pilgrimage of love,
grant that we may take the same path to your presence.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

You promised to draw all things to yourself,
do not allow any one of us to be separated from your body.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

Where you have gone before us in glory,
may we follow you in mind and heart.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

True God, we await your coming as our judge,
may we see the vision of your glory and your mercy in company with all the dead.
Lord Jesus, you are the King of glory.

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.

CONCLUDING PRAYER


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.

Or:

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God,
and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving,
for the Ascension of Christ your Son
is our exaltation,
and, where the Head has gone before us in glory,
the Body is called to follow in hope.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Or:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who believe that your Only Begotten Son, our Redeemer,
ascended this day to the heavens,
may in spirit dwell already in heavenly realms.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL


May the Lord bless + us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.
31 posted on 05/20/2012 3:35:13 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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Compline

INTRODUCTION


God, + come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Examination of Conscience

A brief examination of conscience may be made. In the communal celebration of the Office, a Penitential Rite using the formulas of the Mass may be inserted here.

[I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

And, striking their breast, they say:

through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;

Then they continue:

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

The absolution by the Priest follows:

May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins,
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.]

HYMN

At the Lamb’s high feast we sing
Praise to our victorious King,
Who has washed us in the tide
Flowing from his wounded side;
Praise the Lord, whose love divine
Gives his sacred blood for wine,
Gives his body for the feast,
Christ the victim, Christ the priest.

Where the Paschal blood is poured,
Death’s dark angel sheathes his sword;
Israel’s host in triumph go
Through the waves that drown the foe.
Christ the Lamb whose blood was shed,
Paschal victim, Paschal bread;
Let us with a fervent love
Taste the manna from above.

Mighty Victim from on high,
Pow’rs of hell now vanquished lie;
Sin is conquered in the fight:
You have brought us life and light;
Your resplendent banners wave,
You have risen from the grave;
Christ has opened Paradise,
And in him all men shall rise.

Easter triumph, Easter joy,
Sin alone can this destroy;
Souls form sin and death set free
Glory in their liberty.
Hymns of glory, hymns of praise
Father unto you we raise;
Risen Lord, for joy we sing;
Let our hymns through heaven ring.

Tune: Salzburg 77.77 D
Music: Jacob Hintze, 1622-1702
Text: Ad regias Agni dapes
Translation: Robert Campbell, 1814-1868, adapted by Geoffrey Laycock

Or:

God who made the earth and heaven,
    Darkness and light;
You the day for work have giv’n
    For rest the night.
May your angel guards defend us,
Slumber sweet your mercy send us,
Holy dreams and hope attend us,
    All through the night.

And when morn again shall call us
    To run life’s way,
May we still whate’er befall us,
    Your will obey.
From the pow’r of evil hide us,
In the narrow pathway guide us,
Never be your smile denied us
    All through the day.

Guard us waking, guard us sleeping,
    And, when we die,
May we in your mighty keeping
    All peaceful lie.
When the last dread call shall wake us,
Then O Lord, do not forsake us,
But to reign in glory take us
  With you on high.

Melody: Ar Hyd Y Nos 84.84.88.84
Music: Welsh Carol
Text: st 1 Reginald Heber, 1783-1826; st. 2 William Mercer, 1811-1876; st. 3 Richard Whately, 1787-1863

PSALMODY

Ant. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Psalm 91
Safe in God’s sheltering care


I have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High *
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: “My refuge, *
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!”

It is he who will free you from the snare *
of the fowler who seeks to destroy you;
he will conceal you with his pinions *
and under his wings you will find refuge.

You will not fear the terror of the night *
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the plague that prowls in the darkness *
nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side, *
ten thousand fall at your right,
you, it will never approach; *
his faithfulness is buckler and shield.

Your eyes have only to look *
to see how the wicked are repaid,
you who have said: “Lord, my refuge!” *
and have made the Most High your dwelling.

Upon you no evil shall fall, *
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels, *
to keep you in all your ways.

They shall bear you upon their hands *
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread *
and trample the young lion and the dragon.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him; *
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: “I am with you,” *
I will save him in distress and give him glory.

With length of life I will content him; *
I shall let him see my saving power.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

READING

Revelation 22:4-5

They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more. They will need no light from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever

RESPONSORY

Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit, alleluia, alleluia.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit, alleluia, alleluia.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit, alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL CANTICLE


Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace, alleluia.

Luke 2:29-32
Christ is the light of the nations and the glory of Israel


Lord, + now you let your servant go in peace; *
your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation *
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace, alleluia.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Let us pray.

Lord,
we have celebrated today
the mystery of the rising of Christ to new life.
May we now rest in your peace,
safe from all that could harm us,
and rise refreshed and joyful,
to praise you throughout another day.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

BLESSING


May the all-powerful Lord
grant us a restful night
and a peaceful death.
Amen.

Antiphon or song in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia,
has risen as he said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.

Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia!
For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia!

Or:

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia,
quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia;
ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Or:

Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this exile
show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

Or:

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you!
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Or:

Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
 vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve,
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
 in hac lacrimarum valle.

Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
 illos tuos misericordes occulos
 ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
 nobis post hoc exilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

Or:

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

32 posted on 05/20/2012 3:35:24 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: All
All saints' days are superseded by the Sunday liturgy, nevertheles...

Saint Bernardine of Siena, priest

Saint Bernardine of Siena, priest
Optional Memorial
May 20th

Madonna and Child between Saint Francis and Saint Bernardine of Siena
Benozzo Gozzoli
1450
Fresco
San Fortunato, Montefalco

History:

Saint Bernardine of Siena was called the "Apostle of Italy". Left an orphan at six Bernardine was brought up with great care by his pious aunts. His youth was blameless and engaging. In 1397 after a course of civil and canon law, he joined the Confraternity of Our Lady attached to the great hospital of Santa Maria della Scala. Three years later, when the pestilence revisited Siena, he came forth from the life of seclusion and prayer he had embraced, to minister to the plague-stricken, and, assisted by ten companions, took upon himself for four months entire charge of this hospital. Despite his youth Bernardine proved fully equal to this task, but the heroic and unremitting labor it involved so far shattered his health that he never completely recovered. Having distributed his patrimony in charity, Bernardine received the habit of the Friars Minor at San Francesco in Siena, September 8, 1402, but soon withdrew to the Observantine convent of Columbaio outside the city. He was professed September 8, 1403 and ordained September 8, 1404. About 1406 S. Vincent Ferrer, while preaching at Alexandria in Piedmont, foretold that his mantle should descend upon one who was then listening to him, and said that he would return to France and Spain leaving to Bernardine the task of evangelizing the remaining peoples of Italy.

Nearly twelve years passed before this prediction was fulfilled. During this period, of which we have no details, Bernardine seems to have lived in retirement at Capriola. It was in 1417 that his gift of eloquence was made manifest and his missionary life really began at Milan at the close of that year. Thenceforth, various cities contended for the honor of hearing him, and he was often compelled to preach in the market places, his auditors sometimes numbering thirty thousand. Bernardine gradually gained an immense influence over the turbulent, luxurious Italian cities. Pius II, who as a youth had been a spellbound auditor of Bernardine, records that the saint was listened to as another Paul, and Vespasiano da Bisticci, a well-known Florentine biographer, says that by his sermons Bernardine "cleansed all Italy from sins of every kind in which she abounded". The penitents, we are told, flocked to confession "like ants", and in several cities the reforms urged by the saint were embodied in the laws under the name of Riformazioni di frate Bernardino. Indeed, the success which crowned Bernardine's labors to promote morality and regenerate society, can scarcely be exaggerated. He preached with apostolic freedom, openly censuring Visconti, Duke of Milan, and elsewhere fearlessly rebuking the evil in high places which undermined the Quattrocento. In each city he denounced the reining vice so effectively that bonfires were kindled and "vanities" were cast upon them by the cartload. Usury was one of the principal objects of the saint's attacks, and he did much to prepare the way for the establishment of the beneficial loan societies, known as Monti di Pietà. But Bernardine's watchward, like that of St. Francis, was "Peace". On foot he traversed the length and breadth of Italy peacemaking, and his eloquence was exercised with great effect towards reconciling the mutual hatred of Guelphs and Ghibellines. At Crema, as a result of his preaching, the political exiles were recalled and even reinstated in their confiscated possessions. Everywhere Bernardine persuaded the cities to take down the arms of their warring factions from the church and palace walls and to inscribe there, instead, the initials I. H. S. He thus gave a new impulse and a tangible form to the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus which was ever a favorite topic with him and which he came to regard as a potent means of rekindling popular fervor. He used to hold a board in front of him while preaching, with the sacred monogram painted on it in the midst of rays and afterwards expose it for veneration. Bernardine had to suffer both opposition and persecution. He was accused of heresy, the tablets he had used to promote devotion to the Holy Name being made the basis of a clever attack by the adherents of the Dominican, Manfred of Vercelli, whose false preaching about Antichrist Bernardine had combated. The saint was charged with having introduced a profane, new devotion which exposed the people to the danger of idolatry, and he was cited to appear before the pope. This was in 1427. Martin V received Bernardine coldly and forbade him to preach or exhibit his tablets until his conduct had been examined. The saint humbly submitted, his sermons and writings being handed over to a commission and a day set for his trial. The latter took place at St. Peter's in presence of the pope, 8 June, St. John Capistran having charge of the saint's defence. The malice and futility of the charges against Bernardine were so completely demonstrated that the pope not only justified and commended the saint's teaching, but urged him to preach in Rome. Martin V subsequently approved Bernardine's election as Bishop of Siena. The saint, however, declined this honour as well as the Sees of Ferrara and Urbino, offered to him in 1431 and 1435, respectively, saying playfully that all Italy was already his diocese. After the accession of Eugene IV Bernardine's enemies renewed their accusations against him, but the pope by a Bull, 7 January 1432, annulled their highhanded, secret proceedings and thus reduced the saint's calumniators to silence, nor does the question seem to have been reopened during the Council of Basle as some have asserted. The vindication of Bernardine's teaching was perpetuated by the feast of the Triumph of the Holy Name, conceded to the Friars Minor in 1530 and extended to the Universal Church in 1722.

In 1433 Bernardine accompanied the Emperor Sigismund to Rome for the latter's coronation. Soon after he withdrew to Capriola to compose a series of sermons. He resumed his missionary labours in 1436, but was forced to abandon them in 1438 on his election as Vicar-General of the Observants throughout Italy. Bernardine had laboured strenuously to spread this branch of the Friars Minor from the outset of his religious life, but it is erroneous to style him its founder since the origin of the Observants may be traced back to the middle of the fourteenth century. Although not the immediate founder of this reform, Bernardine became to the Observants what St. Bernard was to the Cistercians their principal support and indefatigable propagator. Some idea of his zeal may be gathered from the fact that, instead of the one hundred and thirty Friars constituting the Observance in Italy at Bernardine's reception into the order, it counted over four thousand before his death. In addition to the number he received into the order, Bernardine himself founded, or reformed, at least three hundred convents of Friars. Not content with extending his religious family at home, Bernardine sent missionaries to different parts of the Orient and it was largely through his efforts that so many ambassadors from different schismatical nations attended the Council of Florence in which we find the saint addressing the assembled Fathers in Greek. Having in 1442 persuaded the pope to accept his resignation as vicar-general so that he might give himself more undividedly to preaching, Bernardine resumed his missionary labours. Although a Bull was issued by Eugene IV, 26 May, 1443, charging Bernardine to preach the indulgence for the Crusade against the Turks, there is no record of his having done so. There is, moreover, no good reason to believe that the saint ever preached outside Italy, and the missionary journey to Palestine mentioned by one of his early biographers may perhaps be traced to a confusion of names.

Miracles multiplied after the saint's death, and he was canonized by Nicholas V, May 24, 1450. On May 17, 1472, Bernardine's body was solemnly translated to the new church of the Observants at Aquila, especially erected to receive it, and enclosed in a costly shrine presented by Louis XI of France. This church having been completely destroyed by earthquake in 1703, was replaced by another edifice where the precious relics of St. Bernardine are still venerated. His feast is celebrated on May 20.

St. Bernardine is accounted the foremost Italian missionary of the fifteenth century, the greatest preacher of his day, the Apostle of the Holy Name, and the restorer of the Order of Friars Minor. He remains one of the most popular of Italian saints, more especially in his own Siena. With both painters and sculptors he has ever been a favorite figure.

(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)


Collect:
O God, who gave the Priest Saint Bernardine of Siena
a great love for the holy Name of Jesus,
grant, through his merits and prayers,
that we may ever be set aflame
with the spirit of your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 4:8-12
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man is standing before you well. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:57-62
As they were going along the road, a man said to Him, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head." To another He said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." But He said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God".


33 posted on 05/20/2012 1:20:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
St. Bernardine of Siena (Priest) (Origin of the "IHS" notation)
Holy Name of Jesus [San Bernadino of Siena] Ecumenical
Saint Bernadine of Siena, Franciscan Missionary Preacher
34 posted on 05/20/2012 1:24:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Infant Jesus of Prague

 

Infant Jesus of Prague
3rd Sunday in May

 
 
 
Prayer of Father Cyrillus a Matre Dei

JESUS, unto Thee I flee,
Through Thy Mother praying Thee
In my need to succor me.
Truly, I believe of Thee
God Thou art with strength to shield me;
Full of trust, I hope of Thee
Thou Thy grace wilt give to me.
All my heart I give to Thee,
Therefore, do my sins repent me;
From them breaking, I beseech Thee,
Jesus, from their bonds to free me.
Firm my purpose is to mend me;
Never more will I offend Thee.
Wholly unto Thee I give me,
Patiently to suffer for Thee,
Thee to serve eternally.
And my neighbor like to me
I will love for love of Thee.
Little Jesus, I beseech Thee,
In my need to succor me,
That with Joseph and Mary
And the angels, I may Thee
Once enjoy eternally. Amen.

-Father Cyrillus a Matre Dei

35 posted on 05/20/2012 1:27:59 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 at the Vigil Mass:

O God, whose Son today ascended to the heavens
as the Apostles looked on,
grant, we pray, that, in accordance with his promise,
we may be worthy for him to live with us always on earth,
and we with him in heaven.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

Collect:

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God,
and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving,
for the Ascension of Christ your Son
is our exaltation,
and, where the Head has gone before in glory,
the Body is called to follow in hope.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

or

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that we, who believe that your Only Begotten Son, our Redeemer,
ascended this day dwell already in heavenly realms.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of 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)


36 posted on 05/20/2012 2:05:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
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37 posted on 05/20/2012 2:11:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information:
St. Bernardine of Siena
Feast Day: May 20
Born: 1380, Massa Marittima, Italy
Died: 1444, Aquila, Italy
Canonized: 24 May 1450 by Pope Nicholas V
Patron of: advertisers; advertising; Aquila, Italy; chest problems; Italy; gambling addicts; public relations personnel; public relations work;



38 posted on 05/20/2012 2:19:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Bernadine of Siena

Feast Day: May 20
Born: 1380 :: Died: 1444

St. Bernardine of Siena was born in 1380 in a town near Siena, Italy. He was the son of an Italian governor. His parents died when he was seven. His relatives loved him as if he were their own. They also gave him a good education. He grew up to be a tall, handsome boy. He was so much fun that his friends loved to be with him. Yet they knew better than to use any dirty words when he was around. He would not put up with it. Twice when a man tried to lead him into sin, Bernardine punched him and sent him on his way.

The saint had a special love for the Blessed Mother. She was the one who kept him pure. Even when he was a teenager, Bernardine would pray to her as a child talks with his mother.

Bernardine was tender hearted. He felt great pity for the poor. Once, his aunt had no extra food to give a beggar. The boy cried, "I'd rather go without food myself than leave that poor man with none." When a plague struck the area in 1400, Bernardine and his friends volunteered their services at the hospital. They helped the sick and dying day and night for six weeks until the plague had ended.

Bernardine joined the Franciscan order when he was twenty-two. He became a priest. After several years, he was assigned to go to towns and cities to preach. The people needed to be reminded about the love of Jesus. In those days, bad habits were ruining both young and old people. "How can I save these people by myself?" Bernardine asked the Lord in prayer. "With what weapons can I fight the devil?" And God answered, "My Holy Name will be enough for you." So Bernardine spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. He used this Name a great many times in every sermon. He asked people to print Jesus' Name over the gates of their cities, over their doorways-everywhere. Through devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus and devotion to the Blessed Mother, Bernardine brought thousands of people from all over Italy back to the Church.

St. Bernardine spent forty-two years of his life as a Franciscan. He died at the age of sixty-four in Aquila, Italy. It was May 20, 1444. He was declared a saint just six years later, in 1450, by Pope Nicholas V.

Reflection: "If you speak of God, speak with love. If you speak of yourself, speak with love. Take care that there is nothing in you but love, love, love."-St. Bernadine of Siena

39 posted on 05/20/2012 2:21:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic
Almanac:
Sunday, May 20
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the optional memorial of St. Bernardine of Siena, priest. He was such an effective speaker that thousands would gather to hear him preach with many giving up their vices because of him. St. Bernardine died in 1444.

40 posted on 05/20/2012 2:25:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: May 20, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord, so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race is with you in your glory, may experience, as he promised, until the end of the world, his abiding presence among us. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Easter: May 20th

Solemnity of the Ascension or the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Old Calendar: Sunday within the Octave of Ascension

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, Omaha and Philadelphia 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. In those places where the observance of the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord has been transferred to this day, the Mass and readings of the Ascension are used: Acts 1:1-11/Eph 1:17-23 or 4:1-13 or 4:1-7, 11-13/Mk 16:15-20.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


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:


41 posted on 05/20/2012 3:25:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Mark 16:15-20

The Ascension of the Lord

Go into the whole world and pro­claim the gospel. (Mark 16:15)

What a simple, but immense, charge Jesus gave to his disciples! He even told them that those who accepted their message would be saved, while those who didn’t would be condemned.

Imagine their reaction: Really, Lord? We’re just fishermen. You can’t expect us to go out and save the whole human race! But Jesus made this a win-win situation. He did send his apostles out to preach and convert the world, but he didn’t send them alone. He made it so that people would be baptized not on the basis of the disciples’ preaching skills but in response to his own grace at work in their hearts. As the twelve became more open to the Spirit, grace would flow more powerfully. Yes, they had to become good at preaching, but they knew that God was even better.

Likewise, the more open we are to God, the more his grace will flow through us. This is part of the won­der of the Christian life: God takes every “yes” that any of his followers says and fills it with his own divine “Yes!” Every time we sit in his pres­ence in prayer, he fills us with even more of his presence to take into the world. It does take effort on our part, but that human effort is so small when compared to the divine strength that accompanies it. Just as Mary’s “yes” to the angel Gabriel set in motion the biggest change in human history, our “yes” to the Lord will cause a chain reaction far beyond our expectations.

On this Feast of the Ascension, let’s rejoice with the saints who have come before us, and let’s com­mit ourselves to preaching to the saints who will come after us. None of the apostles could have guessed how far their “yes” to Jesus would take them—or how much fruit they would bear for the kingdom. And neither can we. There is much work left to be done, but our God is with us, and his promises are true.

“Yes, Jesus! Thank you for calling me into your service!”


Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47:2-3,6-9; Ephesians 1:17-23; Mark 16:15-20)

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. The ascension of Jesus is also a day of great rejoicing and hope for us as we look forward to our own ascension into heaven. Why is this so?

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 these words concerning Jesus’ disciples: “they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs” (Mark 16:20). How would you describe the importance of the “signs” that accompanied the disciples’ preaching? What about you? Do you believe the Lord wants to accompany your sharing of the Gospel with some types of signs? What are some examples of these signs?

5. In the meditation, we hear these words: “Likewise, the more open we are to God, the more his grace will flow through us. This is part of the wonder of the Christian life: God takes every ‘yes’ that any of his followers says and fills it with his own divine ‘Yes!’ Every time we sit in his presence in prayer, he fills us with even more of his presence to take into the world. It does take effort on our part, but that human effort is so small when compared to the divine strength that accompanies it. How would you describe the “human effort” that the Lord wants you to take to say “yes” to his call to “proclaim the Gospel” (Mark 16:15)?

6. Take some time now to pray for the grace to say yes to the Lord’s call to proclaim the Gospel. Also ask the Lord to reveal to you those who most need to hear it. Use the prayer at the end of the mediation as the starting point.


42 posted on 05/20/2012 3:34:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

(A biblical refection on the SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION, THURSDAY, 17 May 2012) 

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11 

Psalms: Ps 47:2-3,6-9; Second Reading: Eph 1:17-23; Gospel Reading: Mk 16:15-20 

The Scripture Text

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 witnesses 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.” (Acts 1:1-11 RSV) 

A key description of today’s liturgy is found in the reading from the “Acts of the Apostles”: “He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Seven weeks previously, Jesus had died and was buried. Easter saw Him raised from the grave, and today He ascends from the earth to the right hand of the Father.

The venerated spot where this spectacular even took place is on top of a mountain populated by many ancient olive trees. It is aptly named the Mount of Olives. This lofty area which offers a magnificent view overlooking the city of Jerusalem, was frequented by Jesus as a place of prayer. It was here that He had taught the apostles to pray the Our Father. His terrible agony in the garden occurred nearby – in Gethsemaneat the base of the mountain.

Today a small chapel stand on top of the Mount of Olives with a single narrow door which causes most people to bow then entering. The roof is a large white dome that immediately pulls one’s attention toward the heavens. An indented footprint in solid rock is clearly evident, which tradition says is the exact spot where Jesus stood before ascending back to His Father. Two footprints were present formerly, but one was removed to be relocated in another sacred shrine.

The Mount of Olives is a sacred place of lingering glory, for the Ascension is Jesus’ victory celebration over sin and death. It is another convincing proof of the legitimacy of His title, “Lord.” Ascension day commemorates a victory for Jesus and a promise for us that we too can eventually triumph over all that binds us to earth.

It is significant how the Bible describes Jesus in the presence of the apostles, just before the Ascension. He gave His everlasting blessing and reminded them that His farewell gift was a message of peace. Jesus also encouraged them to have enduring faith, to spread His sacred Kingdom and told them to let their lives be ruled by the Holy Spirit, Whom He promised soon to send.

Today may be called a farewell to His terrestrial friends and His way of life on this earth. Although good-byes are normally difficult to face, this one was certainly lightened by their collective hope of a future reunion with the Lord in His eternal Kingdom. In the meantime they would keep in touch through faith and prayer.

We too believe that the ascended Lord still continues to keep in touch with us as we meditate on His precious words in scripture, receive His life-renewing sacraments and try to discern His will in our daily lives. We can especially find Him in our sisters and brothers. In loving and serving them we are doing the same for Him, just as truly as if He were visibly present to us.

Short Prayer: Heavenly 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 pray this in the most precious name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


43 posted on 05/20/2012 3:42:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

GOD WILL PICK APOSTLES HIS WAY

(A biblical refection on THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – May 20, 2012) 

First Reading: Act 1:15-17,20-26 

Psalms: Ps 103:1-2,11-12,19-20; Second Reading: 1Jn 4:11-16; Gospel Reading: Jn 17:11-19 

The Scripture Text

In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, “Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was allotted his share in this ministry.

For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it’; and ‘His office let another take.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when He was taken up from us – one of these men must become with us a witness to His resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two Thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:15-17,20-26 RSV) 

Some people think they see God’s presence clearly in spectacular calamitous events. The memory of a near accident or disaster usually triggers statements such as “God was with me”, “The good Lord is trying to tell us something”, etc. Why don’t we see His presence more in the calm, uneventful happenings of each day? For me, personally, floods, fires and blizzards hide rather then reveal Him. The severe storm at sea frightened the apostles, so they awakened Jesus and He quieted things down. His presence was in the calm, not the storm (see Mt 8:24).

Our prayer life also can be very private and quiet yet extremely effective, as we kneel or sit peacefully, offering up unvoiced thoughts to God. Patience and wisdom tell us not to expect immediate answers to prayer in the form of personal visions and wonders, but in the ordinary unfoldings of daily life.

The election in today’s reading from the “Acts of the Apostles” disappoints those who only like dramatic religion. It’s too simple! The story tells how the eleven apostles were seeking a replacement for Judas, and Matthias and Joseph (Barsabbas) consented to be candidates. The Eleven offered a short common prayer and drew lots – the choice was Matthias. The Church celebrates the feast of Saint Matthias every May the 14th.

Now is that any way to choose an apostle? The whole thing is embarrassing, reminding one of the state lottery or of drawing raffle tickets at the parish festival. Sorry! Had God wanted to be dramatic, Paul would have been chosen as the new number twelve, not the unknown Matthias. That would have been a story full of action, power and holy symbolism. Imagine how it would read.

God personally and publicly appeared to Paul in the middle of the road at high noon. The fiery, intelligent persecutor of Christians squirmed helplessly in the dust, having been struck blind by the Almighty. On the spot he was born again, accepted the Lord, had his sight restored, and joined the very group he was trying to destroy, not only as a member but as a leader – one of the Twelve. How unfortunate was Judas’ defection but how marvellous of God to send Paul to take his place. It reminds one of the fall of Adam occasioning the coming of Christ. Speculation could run wild with all the divine lessons the good Lord was trying to tell us.

Luke, however, tells the real story. The famous Saint Paul did not receive the appointment as one of the Twelve, but Matthias did – all without flare or excitement. Did God miss a teachable moment? No! But we might! He is teaching us to see the genuine value of common people and ordinary events. Not many are blessed with the superior qualities of Saint Paul. Most are of the calibre of Matthias – simple, quite people who work hard and do not make the headlines. Regardless of how we would like the script to read, it is God’s story to tell, not ours. Whether knocked to the ground or chosen by lot, He will pick apostles His way.

My ears have never heard the Master’s voice. I have neither seen my name in the clouds nor been blinded by His glory; but by God, I have been chosen as truly as Paul and so have you. Like saint Matthias, we should be proud of it.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, You teach us to see the genuine value of common people and ordinary events. Not many of us are blessed with the superior qualities of Saint Paul, but we understand and believe that you will pick your apostles Your way. Lord God, make us all effective ambassadors for Christ. Amen


44 posted on 05/20/2012 3:44:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for May 20, 2012:

“God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” (1Jn 4:16) Some people quibble over who is saved and who is worthy to be considered a Christian. Look for the love. Would others know you were a Christian without you telling them?


45 posted on 05/20/2012 3:51:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

The Ascension of The Lord - Cycle B

May 20, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11

Psalm: 47:2-3, 6-9

Second Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23

Gospel Reading: Mark 16:15-20

 

QUESTIONS:

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 659-657, 670, 183, 977, 1257, 1507

 

“Perhaps someone will say within himself, ‘I have already believed, I shall be saved.’ He speaks true if his faith be supported by good works, for that only is true faith, which does not contradict in works what is believed in words.”  ~St. Gregory

46 posted on 05/20/2012 3:57:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Squeaky Shoes
Pastor’s Column
Ascension Sunday, 2012
 
Men of Galilee, why are you standing there, looking up into the sky?
                                                            Acts 1:11
 
Seeing things in our lives beyond the three dimensions that are natural to us takes practice—and grace. When I was in the seminary we were periodically asked to lector in the abbey church on Sunday. No problem, I thought: I have done this for years.  Perhaps I was overconfident, but who knew what disasters awaited? We seminarians sat a long way from the ambo, and in between our seats and that podium was a very long row of Monks on both sides, watching and listening!  I began to walk the gauntlet that fated Sunday morning. And then the worst possible thing happened. 
          It was horrible. It was ugly. It was embarrassing. Everyone talked about it. What was the problem? Squeaky shoes: horrible, new, squeaky shoes, echoing in the silence and perfect acoustics of the abbey on that long walk. Brrrack! Brracck! Finally, I made it up there and delivered the reading. Ah, but now we confronted problem number two: how to get back? I think I must have looked like twinkle-toes, walking like a ballet dancer in a vain attempt to stifle a repeat concert of squeaks. When it was over I was so mad at God! But looking back at it, the moment, and the embarrassment passed. I grew in humility. The world did not come to an end. To me, this was a humiliating disaster. From God’s point of view, it was a learning experience. And no one remembers this but me anyway.
          I know that is a trivial example, but don’t we all find ourselves in situations wearing the equivalent of squeaky shoes, when it seems like everyone is looking severely upon all we do? God wants to shine the light of his perspective on everything. If you are in a squeaky shoes situation at the moment, is there another point of view? Not by looking up at the clouds; not by looking down. Don’t look up! Don’t look down! Look to Jesus. We invite Jesus and his Holy Spirit that he promised us to the table, and the church and her guidance that he promised to be with until the end of time.
People see Jesus every day. They just don’t recognize him. This is because we are not allowing the Holy Spirit to inform our choices and our vision; but if we use his glasses, we can see beyond the three dimensions of everyday existence and God will begin to show us the connections and solutions to our problems, the reasons we suffer and what to do about it. He didn’t ascend to abandon us, but so that he could give us his heavenly vision from “up there.” But we see this by living our lives as Christ wishes them to be lived.
          Do I invite the Holy Spirit into my decisions, my problems? He is waiting to give us a new perspective on everything. Don’t look up! Don’t look down! Instead, look to Jesus and his Church, and he will guide you to see your problems and challenges in a new way. He will give you his divine perspective on squeaky shoes and everything else.
                                                                       Father Gary

47 posted on 05/20/2012 4:17:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Feast of Goodbye and Hello
 
Copley: The Ascension of the Lord

"Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel . . ."


Acts 1: 1-11
Eph 1: 17-23
Mk 16: 15-20
In a recent conversation with a brother priest we both admitted that one of the hardest things about our life is leaving an assignment that you have really enjoyed.  We find ourselves sent to not just one parish for a lifetime but to many. Then, there may well be other tasks you are asked to do in addition to your parish assignment.  Although there is a term of office for a pastor, the greater needs of the Diocese may interrupt what you thought would be a determined number of years.  Things are going well.  You’ve made some great friends. Certain projects have begun.  Then, in the midst of this environment, the greater needs of the Diocese come forth and you’re asked to move on. I know because I’ve been there myself.  Although we do have some say in our assignments, there is no absolute guarantee that life will go the way you hope. Like St. Paul himself, we must learn to say both “hello” and “goodbye.” Yet, the goodbyes are not final.  You can and do often stay in touch with past parishioners but life goes on.
The above experience is, I think, not unlike what the Apostles must have felt themselves as our Lord returned to heaven in his Ascension.  This Sunday’s beautiful Feast is a turning point in the story of salvation.  I don’t doubt the Apostles were incredibly energized and filled with new hope as they became witnesses to the risen Lord. In the first reading (Acts 1:1-11) this Sunday they ask: “"Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? . . .” 
Rather than just say outright, “Don’t you guys get it yet?” Jesus sends them out on mission in the Gospel (Mk 16: 15-20): “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel everywhere . . .” And so begins the mission not just of the Apostles but of everyone who would come to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The mission of the Church is our mission as well.  Saying “goodbye” to Jesus at this moment was only the beginning of something greater – the age of the Holy Spirit.  A new “hello” of Christ in which we now live.
As we prepare for this Sunday and the Feast of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost next week, we might wonder about our mission and how we have lived that out.  People come to the Church for a variety of reasons: They feel welcome.  My spouse is Catholic.  I have studied the history and theology of the Church so I have an intellectual reason. I have attended Mass for a number of years as a non-Catholic and now I feel I need to go farther.  I have felt an attraction to the Church for a number of years and I am here to explore that. 
What are your reasons for remaining in the Church?  What holds you here?
More will come of course . . .
Fr. Tim

48 posted on 05/20/2012 4:33:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Ascension of the Lord

The Ascension of Our Lord

On Ascension Day, Jesus gives His apostles, a group of men singularly lacking in influence, a worldwide mission.  How would they be able to pull this off?

Gospel (Read Mk 16:15-20)

As Jesus prepares to depart from the apostles, He gives them a lofty charge:  “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”  They were to preach the Good News of Jesus and to offer the sacrament of baptism.  Theirs was to be a kind of life-and-death work.  Baptism would grant salvation from the condemnation all men have been under since Adam and Eve:  death.  The Good News consisted of announcing what Jesus did for all of us to escape the just judgment that falls on all sinners.  As a result of seeing the Risen Jesus and being taught by Him for forty days, the apostles finally understood this.

Even so, think about what this plan must have sounded like to the Eleven gathered there.  They were a motley crew of mostly uneducated and nondescript men—fishermen, a tax collector, a political zealot, etc.   It is doubtful any of them had ever left the boundaries of their own nation.  Were these men ready to change the world?  Surely this scenario was far beyond their ability even to imagine.  Fortunately, Jesus said something else that made all the difference:  “These signs will accompany those who believe:  in My name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.  They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”  Although Jesus was making a physical departure from the apostles, He was to remain with them in a unique way.  He would work miracles through them so that people would believe their message, just as He had worked miracles in His earthly life for the same purpose.  In the Acts of the Apostles, we have a historical record of times when many of these signs were performed by the apostles in their work of evangelization (see Acts 2:4-11; 3:6-8; 16:16-18; 28:1-6, 8).  When they heard this promise, perhaps their mission seemed less overwhelming.

We know from our first reading today that the apostles had to wait until the descent of the Holy Spirit to begin their preaching mission.  When they received the gift of the Spirit’s power, falling on them in such a dramatic way, they knew that Jesus, in heaven and seated at the right hand of God, was beginning His reign on earth through them.  This gave them the courage to go forth and preach everywhere.  They were not the men they used to be.  Formerly, they had been companions of Jesus.  Now, they were His co-workers:  “…the Lord worked with them and confirmed their word through accompanying signs.”

Thus, one great mystery, Jesus’ disappearance, was followed by another, Jesus’ presence in His Church.  Something changed, yet something stayed the same.  We’ve been absorbed in this mystery ever since.

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, when I doubt You can use me to spread Your kingdom, help me remember that You started with just eleven disciples.

First Reading (Read Acts 1:1-11)

The first verse of this reading tells us that its author, St. Luke, wants to continue a story he began in his “first book,” the Gospel of St. Luke.  That book was devoted to a careful account of “all that Jesus did and taught until the day He was taken up” (Acts 1:1).  This book (Acts) will show us how Jesus could both depart from and yet remain with His followers.  The lesson begins with today’s reading.

We remember that even before His Passion and Resurrection, Jesus promised the apostles that Someone Elsewas coming.  Now He tells them explicitly not to try to get started on their mission to “all nations” right away.  They must wait for that Someone Else:  “John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5).  The apostles’ first question about this event revealed them to be focused on the wrong thing (again):  “Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).  It was not unreasonable for the apostles to be curious about the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, as this was a Messianic hope of long-standing for the Jews.  Notice that Jesus doesn’t rebuke them for their interest in David’s kingdom, but rather for their desire to know when it will happen.  Jesus wants them instead to focus on their own work of being His witnesses:  “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, through Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  Ironically, this work He gives them will actually bring about the restoration and fulfillment of the kingdom they earnestly seek.  In due time, they will learn that this kingdom, as Jesus had told them earlier, is not of this world.  The kingdom Jesus rules is not ethinc; it is not confined to the borders of Israel.  Through the preaching of the Gospel, Jews of all the tribes of Israel would find their way to it, as would Gentiles.  His kingdom is the universal Church, spread out everywhere, “to the ends of the earth.”

Then, as the apostles were “looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight” (Acts 1:9).  What does this mean?  It helps to understand the symbolic significance of the “cloud” Jesus entered.  It reminds us of the Transfiguration, when we get a glimpse of the glorified Jesus.  It reminds us, too, of the “overshadowing” cloud of God’s presence in the worship of the Old Testament Tabernacle, filling the Holy of Holies as God and man met.  That same cloud of God’s presence led the people of Israel to the Promised Land.  As Pope Benedict XVI tells us,

This reference to the cloud is unambiguously theological language.  It represents Jesus’ departure not as a journey to the stars, but as His entry into the mystery of God.  It evokes an entirely different order of magnitude, a different dimension of being… He enters into communion of power and life with the living God, into God’s dominion over space.  Hence, He has not gone away, but now and forever by God’s own power He is present with us and for us.  (Jesus of Nazareth:  Holy Week, Ignatius Press, pgs 282-283, emphasis added)

Now we get it!  Jesus’ departure has only been a departure from our mode of existence.  It is not cosmic but metaphysical.  That is how He can be gone and yet still with us.  In promising the apostles to send the Holy Spirit, He promises not only this new kind of presence with us but also a share in the great power of which He spoke in the Gospel reading.  Did the apostles grasp this?

Not exactly.  We see them staring off into space, probably trying to take it all in.  Two angels caution them against “standing there looking at the sky” (Acts 1:11).  Jesus has ascended into His rightful power and authority, having finished His earthly work for our Redemption.  The apostles will not have to stare at the sky to see Him return in power (the meaning of the “cloud”).  They will see Him return in power very soon—on the Day of Pentecost.

Jesus reigns on His throne now!

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, it is a mystery to me how You can be gone and yet entirely present to me always.  Help me believe it.

Psalm (Read Ps 47:1-2, 5-8)

It is impossible to read through this psalm without wanting to “clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness.”  When it was written, it rejoiced over God’s exalted reign over all His creation.  Now, it expresses the jubilant praise of God’s people for the victory won by Jesus and His ascent to His rightful place of power and authority at God’s right hand.  Ascension Sunday is the day for us to celebrate our God’s reign over all creation.  The challenge for us now, of course, is to believe this is true.  When we look around us, sometimes it is hard to see that Jesus, the King, is now establishing, expanding, and strengthening His kingdom on earth.  Believe it!  Let this psalm be our antidote to doubt.  We should sing out the response with all our hearts on this day:  “God mounts His throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord!”

Possible response:  The psalm is, itself, a response to our other readings.  Read it again prayerfully to make it your own.

Second Reading (Read Eph 1:17-23)

Read these verses carefully, and feel St. Paul straining to find language adequate to explain the dramatic, superabundant implications of our Lord’s Ascension into heaven.  This is actually St. Paul’s prayer for his convert friends in Ephesus (and for us, too).  What does he most desire for them?  He wants them to ponder deeply, with the help of God, “the hope that belongs to [God’s] call, what are the riches of His glory in His inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe” (Eph 1:18).  This is exactly what we need on Ascension Day!  We need to feel St. Paul’s urgency over the difference it makes for our daily lives that Jesus is now seated on His throne, ruling over the world through His Church, “which is His Body, the fullness of the One Who fills all things in every way” (Eph 1:23).  St. Paul will not allow us to think of the Ascension as simply a line in the Creed we recite at Mass.  In every way he knows how, he wants to point us toward the hope, the riches, and the power that belong to us now because of the Ascension.  May his prayer for us become our own, for us and for all the Church, today and always.

Possible response:  Father, please grant me the understanding for which St. Paul prayed.  My problems seem much smaller when I remember that Jesus is on His throne.

Gayle Somers is a member of St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Phoenix and has been writing and leading parish Bible studies since 1996. She is the author of three bible studies, Galatians: A New Kind of Freedom Defended (Basilica Press), Genesis: God and His Creation and Genesis: God and His Family (Emmaus Road Publishing).

49 posted on 05/20/2012 4:55:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Triumphant Ascension

The Triumphant Ascension

It is fitting to celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  We rejoice to see the holy city roll out the red carpet and hail Jesus as the promised Messiah.

The problem is, however, that the only crown they gave their king was a crown of thorns.

This week the Church recalls a far more important victory procession.  The Solemnity of the Ascension celebrates the triumphal entry into the heavenly Jerusalem, the true and eternal City of God.  The inhabitants of that city did not cry “hosanna” one day and “crucify him” the next.  Suffering is over.  Death has been defeated.  There is nothing left for Christ but glory.

All during his public ministry, he had spoken of some mysterious “Kingdom of God.”  He was speaking not so much of a place, but of a new era, the period of the “Reign of God.”  But a new reign must begin with a coronation, just as a new presidential administration must begin with an inauguration, though the election had been won months earlier.  The prince may be heir to the kingdom from birth, but until he puts on the crown and takes his seat on the throne, he cannot exercise his authority.

The Ascension celebrates this momentous occasion.  Myriads of angels sing a new song of indescribable beauty as the one who is both son of God and Son of Adam takes his seat at the right hand of the Father and is crowned King of heaven and earth.

Note that in our first reading from Acts, Jesus, right before he ascended, tells them to wait for the promise of the Father.  They think this means a political coup is about to take place whereby Israel regains the dominance it formerly enjoyed under David and Solomon.  Jesus corrects them gently.  He has in mind something much greater.  He is about to receive the authority to pour out upon them the very power of God, the same power that had raised him from the dead (Eph 1:19-21).  These ministers were about to be empowered to help their King build a far wider and more long-lasting empire than Solomon’s.  The Kingdom of God would be a worldwide, eternal reign of freedom and joy for all those who would accept the king’s sovereignty and be washed in the saving waters of baptism (Mark 16:15-16).

Talk, as they say, is cheap.  Jesus did not just talk about Good News, he was good news changing sadness around him to joy, darkness to light.  So his preaching was accompanied by signs and wonders.  In this week’s gospel, Jesus describes signs that will accompany those who believe and carry the good news to others.

Some have claimed that such signs and wonders were necessary in the early church to get things the ball rolling during those dark days of paganism and brutality, but are no longer to be expected today.

Several fathers of the Second Vatican council took issue with this idea, noting that there is as much brutality, darkness, and opposition to God today as there was in the first century.  The council therefore taught (LG 12) that the Holy Spirit still pours out his gifts upon the faithful of every rank, and that these gifts are to be received with eager gratitude.

Some of these gifts empower us to be like Christ.  We call these virtues.  Others empower us to serve others as He did.  These are called charisms.  Whether remarkable, like healing, tongues, and prophecy, or humble, like hospitality, they are all moving signs of the Kingdom of God.  It is not ours to determine which charisms we’d prefer to have.  Our job is simply to use the authority and power that has been given to each one of us to the very best of our ability, remembering that to those faithful in small matters, even greater things are given.

Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio writes from Texas. 


50 posted on 05/20/2012 5:00:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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