CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 12, 2013

Ascension by DaliGospel reading of the day:

Luke 24:46-53

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

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

Reflection on the gospel reading: We celebrate today the Feast of the Ascension. The name of the feast, and to a certain extent, the text that describes the event, seems to suggest to us that the Lord rose above his disciples like a person who climbed on-board a large helium balloon or a helicopter. In fact, this was not the case. The text says Jesus went to heaven. Heaven is not a place that exists in a directional relationship with physical reality. It is a state of being in the presence of God. The ascension was not a launching of Jesus into a physical realm but a translation of his being from immediacy in our world to assumption of his place at God’s right hand. The ascension is about Jesus taking his place with God. It is also about the joining of heaven and earth, because Jesus, being a thing of earth, rising to heaven, joins heaven and earth, a union made perfect as we remember next Sunday when heaven comes down to earth in the gift of the Holy Spirit. In all the accounts of the ascension, Jesus commissions the apostles to carry on his work, and by extension, he commissions the Church, that is, he commissions us. If we look at the texts from today’s gospel and the first reading in today’s Mass from the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that the Lord’s last instruction to us is that we are to witness. This means that we are to preach the Gospel, not just by what we say but also by who we are and what we do. We recollect today in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles that two angels appear to the apostles and challenge them, “Now you go and do as he did”; that is, you go and do all you can to join heaven and earth, just as Jesus did.

Spiritual reading: Christ is already in that place of peace, which is all in all. He is on the right hand of God. He is hidden in the brightness of the radiance which issues from the everlasting throne. He is in the very abyss of peace, where there is no voice of tumult or distress, but a deep stillness–stillness, that greatest and most awful of all goods which we can fancy; that most perfect of joys, the utter profound, ineffable tranquility of the Divine Essence. He has entered into His rest. That is our home; here we are on a pilgrimage, and Christ calls us to His many mansions which He has prepared. (Blessed John Henry Newman)

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