Saturday, May 27, 2006
Solemnity of Our Lord's Ascension
May 28, 2006
Solemnity of Our Lord's Ascension - B
In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and
taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through
the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented
himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing
to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While
meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but
to wait for "the promise of the Father about which you have heard me
speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be
baptized with the Holy Spirit." When they had gathered together they
asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to
Israel?" He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or
seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you
will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be
my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the
ends of the earth." When he had said this, as they were looking on, he
was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were
looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed
in white garments stood beside them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why
are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been
taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have
seen him going into heaven."
I,then prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of
the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with
patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve
the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one
Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord,
one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and
through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to
the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore, it says: "He ascended on high
and took prisoners captive; he gave gifts to men." What does "he
ascended" mean except that he also descended into the lower (regions)
of the earth? The one who descended is also the one who ascended far
above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some
as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as
pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of
faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent
of the full stature of Christ.
Jesus said to his disciples: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the
gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be
saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will
accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their
hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They
will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." So then the Lord
Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his
seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached
everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word
through accompanying signs.
The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus into heaven does not celebrate the
end of Jesus' presence in the world. On the contrary, it celebrates a
change of the way Jesus is present in the world. It celebrates the fact
that Jesus is no longer physically present in the world through his
human body. Jesus is now present in the world through his mystical body
in a spiritual way. He is present through his Church: "Where two or
three are gathered together in my name," Jesus said, "There am I in the
midst of them." (Matt. 18: 19-20)
Jesus is now present through us, his followers. The Ascension
therefore, marks not only a change in the way in which Jesus is present
in the world, it also marks a change in Jesus' activity in the world.
Jesus no longer acts through the members of his physical body, but
through the members of his mystical body.
The Feast of the Ascension is one of the most important feasts of the
entire liturgical year. That's why we celebrate it in a special way. We
might compare the Feast of the Ascension to the passing of a baton from
one runner to another in a relay race. On this day over 2,000 years
ago, Jesus passed the baton of continuing his work on earth to his
According to Fr. Nil Guillemette, S.J., people in this world are
divided into three major opinions or philosophies: those for whom this
world is everything and heaven is nothing, those for whom heaven or the
afterlife is everything and this world is nothing, and finally, those
(the Christians) for whom heaven is already here in this world,
wherever there is love (for "God is love). The glorification of
Christ's humanity is very significant in this respect.
Far from inviting us to give up our earthly tasks in the open-mouth
expectation of a heavenly compensation to our limitations and failures,
the Ascension points to our earthly mission.
In his glorified state, Jesus is now present to all time and all space,
very much interested in each one of our lives, "working with his
disciples" as today's Gospel tells us. If we truly believe in him, we
too will perform powerful signs wherever we live and work. The greatest
of these is our patient love for our brothers.
Let's close with these words of Jesus to his followers in the Sermon on
the Mount. They take on special meaning for us in the light of today's
"You are the salt of all mankind.
But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty
again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample
on it. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be
hidden in the same way your light must shine before people. So that
they will see the good things you do, and praise your Father in
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the speedy recovery of Cadio.
- for the speedy recovery of Aida.
- for the special Intention of Greg
- for the good health of Elsa & Paolo
- for the complete healing of Elvie Lazaga
- for the special intention of Carlos and Emma.
- for the complete healing of Angel Uichanco, Roger Ang and Paolo.
- for the personal intentions of Charles and Cheryl C.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Co Bun Hing. Eternal rest
grant unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she and
all the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Conchita Ong
- Birthday: Teria Ng
- Birthday: Marie Afable
- In Memoriam (+): Robert Chua Huai Liam (1931-1997)
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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