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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 06-01-14, Solemnity, Ascension of the Lord
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 06-01-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 05/31/2014 8:15:15 PM PDT by Salvation

June 1, 2014

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

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

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

R/ (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.

Gospel Mt 28:16-20

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.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; easter; jesuschrist; prayer
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1 posted on 05/31/2014 8:15:15 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.


2 posted on 05/31/2014 8:21:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Blessed are those few Dioceses and their Bishops which have not forgotten 43 ≠ 40 and continue to keep the feast on Ascension Thursday, which, according to Scripture and Tradition, is where it always belongs.
3 posted on 05/31/2014 8:25:44 PM PDT by lightman (O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance, giving to Thy Church vict'ry o'er Her enemies.)
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To: All
Seventh Sunday of Easter

June 1, 2014

Seventh Sunday of Easter

 

 

Reading 1 Acts 1:12-14

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

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

Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 7-8

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

reading 2 1 Pt 4:13-16

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

Gospel Jn 17:1-11a

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

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


4 posted on 05/31/2014 8:34:41 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.


5 posted on 05/31/2014 8:35:59 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. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.

Please pray for this ministry and support it through this PayPal link. For other
options (check, money order, etc.) please contact the Listowner directly.

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” — St Jerome

*********************************************************************************************

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

For: Thursday, May 9, 2013

Solemnity: The Ascension of the Lord

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.


6 posted on 05/31/2014 8:36:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 28:16-20

Appearance in Galilee. The Mission to the World


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


7 posted on 05/31/2014 8:37:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Acts 1:12-14

The Apostolic College


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


8 posted on 05/31/2014 8:41:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Peter 4:13-16

The Christian Meaning of Suffering (Continuation)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


9 posted on 05/31/2014 8:43:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 17:1-11a

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


10 posted on 05/31/2014 8:43:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

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


First reading

Acts 1:12-14 ©

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


Psalm

Psalm 26:1,4,7-8 ©

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

or

Alleluia!

The Lord is my light and my help;

  whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

  before whom shall I shrink?

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

or

Alleluia!

There is one thing I ask of the Lord,

  for this I long,

to live in the house of the Lord,

  all the days of my life,

to savour the sweetness of the Lord,

  to behold his temple.

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

or

Alleluia!

O Lord, hear my voice when I call;

  have mercy and answer.

Of you my heart has spoken:

  ‘Seek his face.’

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

or

Alleluia!


Second reading

1 Peter 4:13-16 ©

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


Gospel 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 17:1-11 ©

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

‘Father, the hour has come:

glorify your Son

so that your Son may glorify you;

and, through the power over all mankind that you have given him,

let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.

And eternal life is this:

to know you,

the only true God,

and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

I have glorified you on earth

and finished the work that you gave me to do.

Now, Father, it is time for you to glorify me

with that glory I had with you

before ever the world was.

I have made your name known

to the men you took from the world to give me.

They were yours and you gave them to me,

and they have kept your word.

Now at last they know

that all you have given me comes indeed from you;

for I have given them the teaching you gave to me,

and they have truly accepted this, that I came from you,

and have believed that it was you who sent me.

I pray for them;

I am not praying for the world

but for those you have given me,

because they belong to you:

all I have is yours

and all you have is mine,

and in them I am glorified.

I am not in the world any longer,

but they are in the world,

and I am coming to you.’


11 posted on 05/31/2014 8:50:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
12 posted on 05/31/2014 8:52:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
13 posted on 05/31/2014 8:52:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Living the Lessons of Love – Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter
Are You Smarter than a Sheep? A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter
Emmaus: From Despair to Joy
Why Was the Resurrection Such a Hidden Event?
Mary Magdalene’s Journey out of Fear to Easter Faith
He is Risen!
Jesus is Real to Me – A Meditation on the Easter Gospel
The Earth’s Most Serious Wound
Regina Caeli: Ask Jesus what he wants from you (Catholic Caucus)
If Christ Has Not Been Raised (you don't want to miss this one!)
The Few Witnesses to the Resurrection
Iraq: Christians celebrate Easter behind high blast walls and tight security cordons
8 things you need to know about Easter
Pope: Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter, 2013 [Full text]
Pope Francis Leads First Easter Celebrations
Resurrection of the Body (Ecumenical)
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

14 posted on 05/31/2014 8:53:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

15 posted on 05/31/2014 8:56:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

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

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

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

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

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

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

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

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

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

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

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

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

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

16 posted on 05/31/2014 8:58:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there 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 Spirit (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 05/31/2014 8:59:36 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 05/31/2014 9:00:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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 05/31/2014 9:00:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

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

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

INVOCATION

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

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

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

FOR THE CHURCH

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

A PRAYER OF TRUST

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

ACT OF LOVE

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

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

Only for Love: The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood [Catholic Caucus]

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

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

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

 
 

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

- Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary

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

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


20 posted on 05/31/2014 9:02:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
June 2014 Year A

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity.

For Evangelization: That Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers.

21 posted on 05/31/2014 9:17:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Daily Gospel Commentary

Seventh Sunday of Easter - Year A

Commentary of the day
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [Benedict XVI, Pope from 2005 to 2013]
Der Gott Jesu Christi (trans. The God of Jesus Christ, Ignatius press 2008, p. 23)

"I revealed your name"

What, then, does "the name of God" mean?... The Revelation of John speaks of the adversary of God, the "beast". This beast, the power opposed to God, has no name, but a number. The seer tells us: "Its number is six hundred and sixty-six" (Rv 13,18). It is a number, and it makes men numbers. We who lived through the world of the concentration camps know what that means. The terror of that world is rooted in the fact that it obliterates men's faces... But God has a name, and God calls us by our name. He is a Person, and he seeks the person. He has a face, and he seeks our face. He has a heart, and he seeks our heart. For him, we are not some function in a "world machinery". On the contrary, it is precisely those who have no function that are his own. A name allows me to be addressed. A name denotes community.

This is why Christ is the true Moses, the fulfillment of the revelation of God's name. He does not bring some new word as God's name; he does more than this, since he himself is the face of God. He himself is the name of God. In him, we can address God as "you", as person, as heart. His own name, Jesus, brings the mysterious name at the burning bush to its fulfillment (Ex 3,14); now we can see that God had not said all that he had to say but had interrupted his discourse for a time. This is because the name "Jesus" in its Hebrew form includes the word "Yahweh" and adds a further element to it: God "saves". "I am who I am"-thanks to Jesus, this now means: "I am the one who saves you." His Being is salvation.


22 posted on 05/31/2014 9:21:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Zenit.org

Sunday Homily: I Have Manifested Your Name

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Rome, May 30, 2014 (Zenit.org) Fr. Jason Mitchell LC | 443 hits

Acts 1:12-14

Psalm 27:1, 4, 7-8
1 Peter 4:13-16
John 17:1-11a

On the night of the Last Supper Jesus concludes his farewell discourse with a prayer, saying that "the hour has come". John mentions Jesus' "hour" throughout his Gospel. Jesus told Mary at the Wedding of Cana that his "hour" had not yet come (2:4). He told the Samaritan woman that the hour will come when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth (4:23). After curing the paralyzed man on the Sabbath, Jesus tells the people that the hour is coming when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live and rise to life (5:25-29). Jesus could not be arrested at the Feast of Tabernacles, because his hour had not yet come (7:30; 8:20).

Only after his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday does Jesus say: "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified" (12:23). The path that leads to glory passes through the way of the Cross. And Jesus does not ask the Father to save him from this hour, from his redemptive passion and death. His hour is why he, the Word of God, became flesh and dwelt among men (12:27). Jesus knew that at the feast of Passover, his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father (13:1). On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus lifts his eyes to the Father in heaven at says: "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him" (17:1).

Jesus comes to give eternal life, real life, to us. He received the mission from the Father to communicate divine life to us. Pope Benedict writes that we obtain eternal life through the "recognition", granted to us by faith, that creates communion with the one recognized. God is accessible to us through the one he sent, Jesus Christ: "It is in the encounter with him that we experience the recognition of God that leads to communion and thus to 'life'" (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, vol. II, 84). Jesus glorifies the Father by giving the gift of eternal life, the gift that begets new children who will honor God as Father (see R. Brown, John XIII-XXI, 751).

Another theme in Jesus' prayer is the manifestation of the Father's name. Here Jesus presents himself as the New Moses, "who brings to completion what began with Moses at the burning bush. God revealed his 'name' to Moses. That 'name' was more than a word. It meant that God allowed himself to be invoked, that he had entered into communion with Israel" (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, vol. II, 90-91). The knowledge of God's name signified the covenant between God and Moses. In fact, "the renewal of the Sinai covenant took place through the proclamation of the divine name" (V. DeMeo, Covenantal Kinship in John 13-17, 406).

The name of God meant his presence among men. The Temple in Jerusalem was the place that God made his name dwell. The covenant with David promises that one of his descendants will build a house for God's name (2 Samuel 7:13). Later, the prophets foretold the day when God's people will call upon the name of God and when God will give his Servant as a covenant to the people so that his name will be manifested (Isaiah 42:8). "The prophet Jeremiah foretells that in the definitive exodus (23:8) and restoration of the Davidic kingdom (23:5), which will include the gathering together of the twelve tribes of Israel (23:6), God's name will be revealed and invoked as 'YHWH is our righteousness'. Such a definitive exodus and disclosure of his righteous name corresponds to the 'new covenant' that the prophet reveals in 31:31-36"  (V. DeMeo, Covenantal Kinship in John 13-17, 408). The invocation of God's name at the Last Supper, then, signifies the ratification or sealing of the New Covenant.

When Jesus says that he has manifested the Father's name and will manifest it further, he is revealing "a new mode of God's presence among men, a radically new way in which God makes his home with them. In Jesus, God gives himself entirely into the world of mankind: whoever sees Jesus sees the Father" (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, vol. II, 91-92). Through our knowledge of the Father's name (John 17:6) and through asking things in Jesus' name (John 14:13), the Father and the Son are present to us.

The manifestation of the name of God seeks to transform the whole of creation, so that it may become in a completely new way God's true dwelling place in union with Christ. "In Christ, God continually approaches men, so that they in turn can approach him. To make Christ known is to make God known. Through our encounter with Christ, God approaches us, draws us into himself (cf. Jn 12:32), in order, as it were, to lead us out beyond ourselves into the infinite breadth of his greatness and his love" (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, vol. II, 92-93).

Jesus' disciples, whom we encounter in the first reading, were those whom the Father has given to Jesus - they are the ones who have received life from our Savior. We have to die in order to receive life (John 12:24). This is why Saint Peter tells us that those who suffer as Christians should not be ashamed but glorify God because of the name of Christ. We are to rejoice to the extent we share in Christ's sufferings so that when his glory is revealed we may rejoice exultantly. The eleven Apostles will suffer for Christ, knowing that their suffering in this life is brief and that the glory of heaven is eternal. They are listed by name in the first reading, indicating that God knows each one of them. And, through Jesus Christ, each of them knows the name of the Father. Through this mutual knowledge, a New Covenant has been established that is unbreakable. It is a covenant which introduces us into God's family and urges us on to make God's name known to the ends of the earth.


23 posted on 05/31/2014 9:28:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY MT 28: 16-20

Going and staying

Fr. Paul Scalia

“Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). It seems a strange thing for a man to say right before leaving. It is as if you said to your dinner hosts, “I must be going now, and I will stay for dessert.” Or a simple “Hello” as you walked out the door. This privilege to leave and to remain all at once belongs to God alone. He does not remain with us as He did before. He really did leave us and ascend into heaven. And yet He promised to remain — a promise so strong that He speaks it in the present: I am with you always, until the end of the age. So, how does He remain?

Sometimes we speak of people remaining with us even after they have left this world. “He lives in our memories,” we might say. Or maybe we regard a person as still present by way of what he taught or accomplished. In some circles people have a more mystical view, thinking the deceased still somehow are spiritually present. None of these captures exactly what Our Lord meant by being with us always. In fact, they emphasize the difference of His presence from all others. He is with us not merely by memory or teaching or in some fuzzy mystical way. He is present, rather, by His Spirit and through the church’s teachings and sacraments.

 

With regard to the Spirit, Our Lord’s parting words point to the essential connection between the Ascension and Pentecost, between His departure and sending of the Holy Spirit. He ascends in order to send the Holy Spirit. "I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn 16:7). It is by the gift of the Holy Spirit — His Spirit — that He remains with us.

This same Spirit makes Jesus present in and through His church. At the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit overshadowed the Virgin Mary and she conceived Him within her womb. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit again descends, this time upon the disciples, to form Jesus’ corporate Body, the church. This helps us to deepen our understanding of the church, which is not merely a gathering of His followers to remember Him and reminisce about old times. She is not just an organization for the mere continuation of His teachings. She is His Body, His continuing presence throughout the world and throughout history. Everything that He thought, said, and did in His human nature two thousand years ago He continues to do now by way of His ecclesial body.

Notice that before ascending, He charges His disciples with two tasks: to teach (“make disciples … teaching them”) and to sanctify (“baptizing them”). Or, put differently, the church is to make Him present by way of her teaching and the sacraments. This is a unique mission.

In other regards, we might continue the teachings of the deceased, and in that way maintain some kind of moral union with them. But the Holy Spirit gives to the church alone the power not merely to convey Jesus' teachings but to teach in His name, with His authority, indeed as Christ Himself. The church does not merely communicate Jesus' teaching. Christ Himself teaches through her.

Likewise with the sacraments. In other instances we may preserve the memory of the deceased by rituals, holidays, and other observances. The church's memorial of her Founder, however, is not a mere reminiscence of Him. It is the actual making present of Him — of His life, death and resurrection. This is the reality of the sacraments, and most of all the Mass. They are not mere rituals or reminiscences, as we have in the secular world. They make Him and His grace present. By way of them, the Spirit accomplishes in the church what human memory can only attempt: the real presence of the One remembered.

"I am with you always," He says as He leaves. And by the gift of the Spirit, He brings this promise to fulfillment, continuing His presence through the church's teachings and sacraments.

Fr. Scalia is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s delegate for clergy.


24 posted on 05/31/2014 9:35:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Year A  -  The Ascension of the Lord

All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me

Matthew 28:16-20

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

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

After the glory of the resurrection, I stayed for a while on earth to strengthen the faith of my apostles so that they could begin the work of my Church.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


25 posted on 05/31/2014 9:40:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Archdiocese of Washington

Love Lifted Me – A Homily for Ascension

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

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.


26 posted on 05/31/2014 9:55:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday Gospel Reflections

7th Sunday in Easter


Gospel

John 17:1-11

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


One Main Point

Unity in the love of God.

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


Interesting Details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Reflections

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

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

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

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

27 posted on 05/31/2014 9:59:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

As by the Word of God, Jesus our Savior was made Flesh and had both Flesh and Blood for our salvation, so also the food which has been blessed by the word of prayer instituted by Him is both the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Incarnate. — Saint Justin Martyr


28 posted on 05/31/2014 10:03:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

29 posted on 05/31/2014 10:05:13 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.

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.


30 posted on 05/31/2014 10:06:24 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)


31 posted on 06/01/2014 7:11:54 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Love Lifted Me – A Homily for Ascension
What the Lord’s Ascension Means
Please Let us Celebrate Ascension on Thursday Again
English Bishops May Transfer Ascension, Epiphany Back to Traditional Days
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 2nd Glorious Mystery: The Ascension (Patristic Rosary)
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[Our Lord's] Ascension
Podcast: Fr. Z Reads Pope St. Leo the Great's Sermon 74 (On the Ascension)
ASCENSION THURSDAY - Holy Day of Obligation in certain dioceses

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New Roman">Ascension Thursday Sermons
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Ascension reveals the 'ultimate vocation' of all human beings, says Pope during prayer today
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HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION
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The Ascension of Christ and His Glorified Existence

32 posted on 06/01/2014 7:27:27 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Justin

Feast Day: June 1

Born: 100 at Nablus, Palestine

Died: 165, Rome, Roman Empire

33 posted on 06/01/2014 7:34:52 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Justin

Feast Day: June 01
Born: (around) 100 :: Died: (around) 166

St. Justin was from Samaria. His father brought him up without any belief in God. When he was a boy, Justin read poetry, history and science. As he grew up, he kept on studying trying to find the truth about God.

One day as he was walking along the seashore, Justin met an old man and they began to talk. Justin looked troubled, so the man asked him what was on his mind. Justin explained that he was unhappy because he had not found the truth about God in all the books he had read. The old man told him about Jesus, the Savior and asked Justin to pray so that he would be able to understand the truth about God.

St. Justin began to pray and to read the Word of God, the Bible. He grew to love it very much. He was also impressed to see how brave the Christians were who were dying for their belief in and love for Jesus. Soon Justin became a Christian. Then he used his great knowledge to explain and defend the faith with many writings.

In Rome St. Justin was arrested for being a Christian. The judge asked him, "Do you think that by dying you will enter heaven and be rewarded?" "I don't just think so," the saint answered. "I am sure of it!" He along with many other Christians were killed for their faith in Jesus. They gladly died as martyrs around the year 166."

Reflection: How often do I read the Bible? Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us love the word of God and to keep our faith strong. We can say this little prayer of faith: "My God, I believe in you."


34 posted on 06/01/2014 7:45:46 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I haven’t seen Day 2 of holy Spirit Novena? I looked and Looked


35 posted on 06/01/2014 8:40:13 AM PDT by philly-d-kidder (AB-Sheen"The truth is the truth if nobody believes it,a lie is still a lie, everybody believes it")
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To: philly-d-kidder

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3162036/posts


36 posted on 06/01/2014 8:43:03 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 28
16 And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. Undecim autem discipuli abierunt in Galilæam in montem ubi consituerat illis Jesus. οι δε ενδεκα μαθηται επορευθησαν εις την γαλιλαιαν εις το ορος ου εταξατο αυτοις ο ιησους
17 And seeing them they adored: but some doubted. Et videntes eum adoraverunt : quidam autem dubitaverunt. και ιδοντες αυτον προσεκυνησαν αυτω οι δε εδιστασαν
18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Et accedens Jesus locutus est eis, dicens : Data est mihi omnis potestas in cælo et in terra : και προσελθων ο ιησους ελαλησεν αυτοις λεγων εδοθη μοι πασα εξουσια εν ουρανω και επι γης
19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. euntes ergo docete omnes gentes : baptizantes eos in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti : πορευθεντες μαθητευσατε παντα τα εθνη βαπτιζοντες αυτους εις το ονομα του πατρος και του υιου και του αγιου πνευματος
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. docentes eos servare omnia quæcumque mandavi vobis : et ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus, usque ad consummationem sæculi. διδασκοντες αυτους τηρειν παντα οσα ενετειλαμην υμιν και ιδου εγω μεθ υμων ειμι πασας τας ημερας εως της συντελειας του αιωνος αμην

37 posted on 06/01/2014 9:46:14 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
16. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.
19. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Catena Aurea Matthew 28
38 posted on 06/01/2014 9:47:02 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex



39 posted on 06/01/2014 9:47:33 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Laudario of the Compagnia di Sant'Agnese

Pacino di Bonaguida

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


40 posted on 06/01/2014 9:47:59 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


scenes from the Life of Christ: 22. Ascension

Giotto di Bondone

1304-06
Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

41 posted on 06/01/2014 9:51:20 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Sunday, June 1

Liturgical Color: Red Sunday, June 1

Liturgical Color: Red

Today is the Memorial of St. Justin, martyr.
Justin was a pagan philosopher
who converted to Christianity after
witnessing the faith of the martyrs of his
day. Many of his defenses of the faith are
still presented today. He was beheaded
in 165 A.D.

42 posted on 06/01/2014 1:01:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Day 168 - How does the Anointing of the Sick work?

How does the Anointing of the Sick work?

The Anointing of the Sick imparts consolation, peace, and strength and unites the sick person, in his precarious situation and his sufferings, with Christ in a profound way. For the Lord experienced our fears and bore our pains in his body. For many people the Anointing of the Sick brings about physical healing. But if God should decide to call someone home to himself, he gives him in the Anointing of the Sick the strength for all the physical and spiritual battles on his final journey. In any case, the Anointing of the Sick has the effect of forgiving sins.

Many sick people are afraid of this sacrament and put it off until the last minute because they think it is a sort of death sentence. But the opposite is true: the Anointing of the Sick is a sort of life insurance. A Christian who is caring for a sick person should relieve him of any false fear. Most people in serious danger sense intuitively that nothing is more important for them at the moment than to embrace immediately and unconditionally the One who overcame death and is life itself: Jesus, the Savior. (YOUCAT question 245)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (1520-1523) and other references here.


43 posted on 06/01/2014 1:19:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (1066 - 1690)

Section 2: The Seven Sacraments of the Church (1210 - 1690)

Chapter 2: The Sacraments of Healing (1420 - 1532)

Article 5: The Anointing of the Sick (1499 - 1532)

IV. THE EFFECTS OF THE CELEBRATION OF THIS SACRAMENT

733
(all)

1520

A particular gift of the Holy Spirit. The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death.135 This assistance from the Lord by the power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God's will.136 Furthermore, "if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven."137

135.

Cf. Heb 2:15.

136.

Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1325.

137.

Jas 5:15; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1717.

1499
1535
(all)

1521

Union with the passion of Christ. By the grace of this sacrament the sick person receives the strength and the gift of uniting himself more closely to Christ's Passion: in a certain way he is consecrated to bear fruit by configuration to the Savior's redemptive Passion. Suffering, a consequence of original sin, acquires a new meaning; it becomes a participation in the saving work of Jesus.

953
(all)

1522

An ecclesial grace. The sick who receive this sacrament, "by freely uniting themselves to the passion and death of Christ," "contribute to the good of the People of God."138 By celebrating this sacrament the Church, in the communion of saints, intercedes for the benefit of the sick person, and he, for his part, through the grace of this sacrament, contributes to the sanctification of the Church and to the good of all men for whom the Church suffers and offers herself through Christ to God the Father.

138.

LG 11 § 2.

1020
1294
(all)

1523

A preparation for the final journey. If the sacrament of anointing of the sick is given to all who suffer from serious illness and infirmity, even more rightly is it given to those at the point of departing this life; so it is also called sacramentum exeuntium (the sacrament of those departing).139 The Anointing of the Sick completes our conformity to the death and Resurrection of Christ, just as Baptism began it. It completes the holy anointings that mark the whole Christian life: that of Baptism which sealed the new life in us, and that of Confirmation which strengthened us for the combat of this life. This last anointing fortifies the end of our earthly life like a solid rampart for the final struggles before entering the Father's house.140

139.

Council of Trent (1551): DS 1698.

140.

Council of Trent (1551): DS 1694.


44 posted on 06/01/2014 1:23:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Saint Justin, Martyr

Saint Justin, Martyr
Memorial
June 1st


Justin Martyr
André Thevet, Les Vrais Pourtraits et Vies Hommes Illustres,
1584 edition supplied by the Special Collections Library, University of Michigan and http://www.earlychurch.org.uk/justin.html

 

History:

Christian apologist, born at Flavia Neapolis, about A.D. 100, converted to Christianity about A.D. 130, taught and defended the Christian religion in Asia Minor and at Rome, where he suffered martyrdom about the year 165. "Apologies" bearing his name and his "Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon" have come down to us.

(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)

 

Collect:
O God, who through the folly of the Cross
wondrously taught Saint Justin the Martyr
the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ,
grant us, through his intercession,
that, having rejected deception and error,
we may become steadfast in the faith.
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: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart." Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-19
"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

"Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


Related Page on the Vatican Website: Benedict XVI, General Audience, St Peter's Square, Wednesday, March 21, 2007, St Justin, Philosopher and Martyr (c. 100-165)

Links to New Advent - The Fathers of the Church

Justin Martyr [SAINT]
  - First Apology
  - Second Apology
  - Dialogue with Trypho
  - Hortatory Address to the Greeks
  - On the Sole Government of God
  - Fragments of the Lost Work on the Resurrection
  - Miscellaneous Fragments from Lost Writings
  - Martyrdom of Justin, Chariton, and other Roman Martyrs
  - Discourse to the Greeks


45 posted on 06/01/2014 1:29:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint's days are superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

The saint who was one of the earliest Fathers of the Church
Justin Martyr: 1st apology: Sacraments, Eucharist {Catholic/Orthodox caucus}
Justin Martyr Walks a Tightrope
Church History, Justin Martyr, Preeminent Apologist
The First Apology of St. Justin Martyr, Early Church Father (long)
St. Justin Martyr: He Considered Christianity the “True Philosophy” (March 21, 2007)
Justin Martyr on Christian worship - (the earliest record of Christian worship)
Orthodox Feast of Martyr Justin the Philosopher and those with him at Rome
St. Justin Martyr

46 posted on 06/01/2014 1:33:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:June 01, 2014
(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.

RECIPES

o    Apple Fritters

o    Apple Ring Fritters

o    Beignets

o    Beignets de Pommes

o    Dolmas

o    Stuffed Pigeons

ACTIVITIES

o    Ascension Day, the Final Message from Jesus

o    Ascension Liturgy and Customs

o    Ascension Thursday Activities

o    Ascension Thursday Picnic and Traditions

o    Family and Friends of Jesus Scrapbook Album

o    Teaching the Ascension

PRAYERS

o    Easter Season II Table Blessing 1

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Easter Season (2nd Plan)

o    Ascension and Pentecost Prayer Suggestions

o    Prayer Cards for Easter Grace at Meals

o    Novena to the Holy Spirit

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Easter (1st Plan)

o    Novena to the Holy Spirit (2)

o    Novena for the Ascension

LIBRARY

o    Glory of the Trinity in Christ's Ascension | Pope John Paul II

o    The Ascension Invites Us to a Profound Communion with Jesus | Pope Benedict XVI

·         Easter: June 1st

·         Solemnity of the Ascension or the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Old Calendar: Sunday within the Octave of Ascension ; Other Titles: Ascension Thursday

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

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

The memorial of St. Justin, martyr, is superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

We continue the Novena to the Holy Spirit.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


The Ascension
The death of a member of his family or of a loved friend, must be the saddest event imaginable in the life of an atheist. He is one who really is convinced that there is no God, no future life and therefore that the relative or friend is to turn into dust in the grave, never to be met with again. The thought that every day that passes is bringing him too nearer to that same sad fate, death, which will be the end of all his ambitions, all his enjoyments, the end of everything he thought he was or had, must be something hard to live with.

Thank God, we have the good fortune to know, and reason and faith convince us of this truth, that death is not the end of man. It is rather the real beginning. Today's feast—the Ascension of our Lord in his human nature—to his Father's and our Father's home, is the confirmation and the guarantee of this doctrine of our faith. We shall all rise from the grave with new, glorified bodies and ascend to heaven, as Christ did. There we'll begin our true life of eternal happiness.

While it is true that even for good Christians the death of a beloved one is a cause of sorrow and tears, this is natural as we still are of the earth earthly. Yet the certitude that our beloved one has gone to his true life and will be there to meet us when our turn comes, is always at the back of our minds to console and comfort us. What all human beings want is to live on forever with our dear ones. Death breaks that continuity but only for a little while. That break is necessary for the new life to begin.

It is only in heaven that this natural desire of an unending life with all those we love can be realized and death on earth is the door to that eternal life.

Look up to heaven today. See Christ ascending to his Father and our Father. Say : Thank you, God, for creating me, and for giving me, through the Incarnation of your beloved Son, the possibility and the assurance that if I do my part here, when death comes it will not be an enemy but a friend, to speed me on my way to the true, supernatural life which you have, in your love, planned and prepared for me.

It was written, and foretold, that Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory. The servant is not above the Master. I too must suffer. I too must accept the hardships and the trials of this life, if I want, and I do, to enter into the life of glory. Christ, who was sinless, suffered hardship and pain. I have earned many, if not all of my hardships, by my own sins. I should be glad of the opportunity to make some atonement for my past offenses, by willingly accepting the crosses he sends me. These crosses are signs of God's interest in my true welfare. Through him he is giving me a chance to prepare myself for the day of reckoning, for the moment of my death which will decide my eternal future. For every prayer I say for success in life, I should say three for a successful death, a death free from sin and at peace with God.

Excepted from The Sunday Readings, Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.

Things to Do:


47 posted on 06/01/2014 1:55:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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48 posted on 06/01/2014 1:58:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 28:16-20

The Ascension of the Lord or 7th Sunday of Easter

I am with you always, until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

This is a bittersweet day. On the one hand, we celebrate Jesus, the Son of God, being lifted up into heaven, exalted as Lord above all of creation.

On the other hand, Jesus is no longer with us. Wouldn’t it be better if he could still walk among us, visiting every nation, performing miracles, and continuing to teach us how to live? Imagine the impact he could have had over the past two thousand years!

But the truth is, Jesus has not left us alone. He is still with us; he still guides us. And even better, he is also in heaven, interceding for us before his Father (Hebrews 9:24).

When he walked the earth, Jesus was limited by his human body. A man like us in all things but sin, he could travel only so far. He was limited by hunger, pain, and tiredness. He could do only so much. But now, risen and glorified, Jesus has no limitations. He is free to do so much more! He can comfort a grieving widow in South Africa at the same time that he is giving wisdom to a perplexed young man in Norway. He can pour out grace and healing at every Mass being celebrated at every moment and still be present to every lonely soul searching for him in silence.

Pope Francis once said that Jesus is like a rope guide, who climbs the “mountain of the Lord” before us and then pulls us up with him. If anything along our journey up that mountain causes problems or gets in the way, he comes to our rescue. He always forgives us, consoles us, and blesses us. He is our advocate and our defender against the evil one.

Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus is always with us—in good times and bad—until the end of the world?

“Jesus, I am so grateful for the way you love me and care for me!”

Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9; Ephesians 1:17-23

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

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

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

2. The Responsorial Psalm provides a foreshadowing of the joy and celebration that may have occurred in heaven upon Jesus’ return. Spend a minute or so in quiet reflection and try to imagine what your first day(s) in heaven would be like. What do you think they will be like?

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 also part of this prayer. Pray this prayer slowly and meditate on the words as you do. What does this prayer mean to you? Would you consider praying this prayer for family members and others? What do you think the fruits of doing this would be?

4. The Gospel reading ends with the words that are the very last words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Why should these words fill us with joy? What steps can you take to be more open to Jesus’ presence during the day?

5. The meditation ends with these words: “Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus is always with us—in good times and bad—until the end of the world?” Do you believe this? If so, what difference does this truth make in your life? What are the obstacles that hold you back from believing this? How can you overcome them?

6. Take some time now to pray and thank the Lord for his faithfulness in always being with you, loving you, and caring for you. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


49 posted on 06/01/2014 2:10:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS [MATTHEW 28:16-20]

29 May

I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS [MATTHEW 28:16-20]

THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD

KENAIKAN TUHAN

As Jesus was about to ascend into heaven He spoke His final words to His disciples: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20 RSV).

In his study of Matthew’s gospel, Fr. Donald Senior underlines the significance of the “with you” phrase. The beginning of Matthew’s gospel was marked by the revelation that Jesus would be called Emmanuel, that is, God-with-us (Matthew 1:23). This theme of God’s abiding presence in the person of Jesus is now matched at the end of Matthew’s gospel by our Lord’s own promise: “I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

The keynote of Matthew’s gospel, namely God-with-us, explains somewhat why Matthew has no ascension story as such. The evangelists Mark and Luke write specifically that Jesus was taken up to heaven, but not Matthew. Although Matthew sets the scene for the Ascension, he stops short of actually saying that Jesus ascends.

Perhaps this is Matthew’s way of stressing the “staying” of Jesus with us, as opposed to His “going away” to heaven. It may be Matthew’s way of calling attention to our Lord’s new, invisible presence in our midst – a sacramental presence transcending all barriers of time and place, as opposed to his historical, visible presence limited by space and time.

We are dealing here with a paradox, a mystery. In one sense, Jesus has “gone away” by ascending in heaven. But in another sense, he is “still with us” here on earth. Our Lord’s “going away”, His Ascension, is most important to us because it confirms His claim to be God’s own Son; it completes the cycle of Incarnation-Redemption-Glorification; and it gives hope of one day following Him

But equally important to us is our Lord’s “abiding presence”. Whenever we read His word, break His bread, gather to pray in His name, and minister to the least of His brethren, we experience his “being-with-us”, here and now. Whenever we deny ourselves for Him, carry our cross after Him, or suffer persecution because of His name, we know that He is “with us” to support, encourage and inspire us.

In the familiar story entitled “Footprints” a man at the end of his life wanted to know why in tough times there was only one set of footprints in the sand. After all, the Lord had promised to walk with him all the way. The Lord replied by telling him that He never left him in times of trial. When the man saw only one set of footprints, it was then that the Lord carried him. The Lord was with the man walking in the sand. May the risen Lord be with us all the days of our life.


50 posted on 06/01/2014 2:17:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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