Thursday, May 5, 2016

             ASCENSION OF THE LORD  - CYCLE C – 2016

  1. The Church celebrates the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord  on the Thursday after the sixth Sunday of Easter.  
  2. Some countries or regions, due to pastoral needs, have the authorization to celebrate this solemnity on the seventh Sunday. Our country is one of those countries. 
    FIRST READING - Acts of the Apostles  1:1-11

  • The liturgy takes us back to the beginning of the book of the Acts. 
  • We already mentioned that Luke wrote two books of the New Testament: the Gospel and the Acts.  
  • The Acts, begin  repeating the end of the Gospel, and both books begin with an introduction. 
  • Luke uses a great number of images and symbols to explain the meaning of the return of the Lord to the Father.
  • Let us try to understand the meaning of the images which are going to reveal to us the message: 
  • The text begins saying that the Lord make himself present among them alive. After his death on the cross and during 40 days the Lord showed himself to them during 40 days giving them signs which could help understand and believe that he was alive. And at the same time he explained to them the meaning of the Kingdom of God.   
  • 40 days is already one of the symbols: 40 days of the flood , 40 years wandering through the desert,  40 days of Jesus in the desert.  40 is a symbolic number in the Bible, a number which means a long time.    
  • He asks them not to leave Jerusalem before the promise from the Father, the Holy Spirit About whom he had already explained in many different occasions, especially in his conversation with them after the Last Supper.   
  • They will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. To be baptized is to be submerged in, we will be submerged in the Spirit of the Father and of the Son Jesus.   
  •  With the Holy Spirit these men who are so afraid now, will be able to be witnesses to the limits of the earth.
  • He was lifted up, whenever we think or we speak about God we look upward, there is something in the human heart which understands that God is superior to us and this we consider to be upward.   
  • Jesus returns to the Father and at the same time remains with us, this is what he has told us
  • His remaining with us is not visible, from now on his presence is sacramental and through his followers or through everything which is really human, good.   
  • The cloud, the cloud is the symbol of the presence of God, which has two functions one to hide and the other to uncover the divine presence. During the Exodus  

  • The cloud was dark during the day, and bright during the night.  
  • When the cloud rested upon the tent of the encounter, they knew that God was present,  
  • The cloud is the symbol of the presence of the glory of God. 

  • Jesus returns to the Father, Jesus is trully the glory of God the Father, Jesus is the Son of the Father made man.  
  • They continue to look to the sky, we also do the same when we are in difficulties, or we are suffering, we continue to look on high, we do not want to leave from the presence of the Lord in our temples.  
  • But the angels remind to us that we have to work, we have to proclaim the kingdom, we have to find the Lord here on our earth, among the men and women who journey with us through life, we have to find him here on our earth, which is also his earth, because from the Gospel of Matthew we know that I WILL BE WITH YOU UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD, THE END OF HISTORY.
  •     Jesus will come back, we do not know when, but meanwhile it is the time of the Spirit, our time, the time of the Church to continue the work that the Son of God, made men, our Master  began.
     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.
 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.
 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. .
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.  

  • This psalm does not need much explanation, it is very clear that it is a psalm of joyful praise to God, the King of all the earth.    

  • Everything that in the Old Testament was attributed to God, the community of the followers apply it to Jesus after the resurrection.    

SECOND READING  Ephesians 1:17-23 

  1. Paul’s wishes for his community of Ephesus is that God the Father grant them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.  This means that we may be able to savor what God awakens in our heart in the different events of our life, and that we may be able to discover in everything his Word, his revelation, and that through all these situations we may learn to know him, not intellectually but from the deepest recesses of our being.  
  2. Paul also wishes that the eyes of the heart of the community of Ephesus be enlightened to be able to know the hope which comes with his call.   
  3. That we may be able to discover the riches of glory found in the saints legacy.  
  4. That we may discover his power that surpasses any other power.   
  5. Power which raised Jesus from the dead and gave him a seat at his right hand. To sit at the right hand of the king, was for the most important person in the kingdom after the king himself. This means that Jesus is the beloved Son of the Father. “This is my beloved son”. These are the words that the Father said of Jesus at his baptism and also at his transfiguration.    
  6. Jesus through this glorification has received all power and also a name which is above any other name, and all has been put under his feet. To be under his feet means to have authority over others.   
  7. Jesus has been made head of the church which is his body. He is our head, all of us his body and we are called to proclaim that He is alive, that he is present in all of us, and will be with us until his secong coming,      
    GOSPEL  Luke  24:46-53
    This Reading is taken from the end of the Luke’s Gospel.       

  • Luke who is the author of both Gospel and Acts says that “afterwards”= after the evening of the resurrection, he ascended into heaven.   In the Acts Luke says that the ascension was 40 days after his death.   The evangelist is not interested in the historical accuracy in regards to the chronological time, but yes the accuracy of the truth that God reveals to us, that is in regards to the theology of history.  
  • Today’s reading begins on verse 46 with Jesus teaching as a good Teacher.                                                                             

  1. It was written that the Messiah had to suffer and raise and this is what has happened to him, He is the Messiah, the one sent into the world.   
  2. He continues saying that they are the witnesses to these things, and that he will send them the promise of the Father, thus they have to stay in Jerusalem. From Jerusalem will come salvation as announced by the prophets.   
  3. In these two verses Luke offers a synthesis of Jesus’ mission and of the church’s history.  
  4. Luke describes here the mystery of the ascension using very appealing and beautiful images.  I have said that the ascension is a mystery, which means that it is a truth of faith which goes beyond our understanding, and which is explained to us through images, comparisons, symbols.  
  5. Jesus blesses them, this means he says good words upon them   
  6. They kneel before him, they acknowledge him as God    
  7. They go back full of joy, and they bless God.   
  8. The presence of Jesus in our life, the presence of the Father and also of the Holy Spirit is always a source of deep and overflowing joy, and thus contagious.   
    CLARETIAN CORNER                    

Some days before my religious profession, our Lord told me his desire to communicate a grace to my prelate, but that would not be done until he had received my profession. And the most blessed Mary told me that she would take care of making him understand that the load of the church weighted upon him.


So, that is what happened a few days after my profession: he was told that he had to be the angel of the Apocalypse. He himself told me this (full of admiration and astonishment) the day he came to say goodbye for the visit – I think it was November 1 1855, and I made my profession on August 27 of the same year.

             Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 79-80.

Love is the most necessary of all the virtues. Yes, I say it and will say it a thousand times: the virtue an apostolic missionary needs most of all is love. He must love God, Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his neighbors. If he lacks this love, all his talents, however fine in themselves, are for nothing. But if, together with his natural endowments, he has much love, he has everything.[1]

Love in a man who preaches the Word of God is like fire in a musket. If a man were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything; but if he takes this same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill. It is much the same with the Word of God. If God's Word is spoken only naturally, it does very little; but if it is spoken by a priest who is filled with the fire of charity-- the fire of love of God and neighbor--it will wound vices, kill sins, convert sinners, and work wonders. We can see this in the case of St. Peter, who walked out of the upper room afire with the love he had received from the Holy Spirit, with the result that through just two sermons he converted 8,000 people, three in the first sermon and five in the second.St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 438-439.


[1]  This is one of the most stirring chapters in the Autobiography and one in which the apostolic personality of the Saint is best portrayed: "A man who is afire with love and kindles that fire wherever he goes."

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