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Daily Tweet Archive

July 22, 2020

Mass Schedule this Week

Monday 12 Noon
Tuesday — 8:00 am
Wednesday — No Mass at Noon due to funeral
Thursday — 8:00 am
Friday — 12 Noon
Saturday — 8:00 am

Lord’s Day      5:00 pm Vigil (Saturday)
                        10:00 am (Sunday)

Saint Mary Magdalene holds a prominent place in the early Church as the first one to see the risen Lord. She had stood beneath the cross together with Jesus’ mother and Saint John and a few others. Mary Magdalene remains an outstanding example of gratefulness to God for the merciful love he showed her through Christ. That love deepened at the Resurrection when the Lord Jesus told her that her love was raised to a higher level upon his ascension into heaven. Love of Christ for us as well spans both heaven and earth (today’s Gospel). Then Mary Magdalene was commissioned to bring the news of the risen Lord to the others.

The Prayer over the Gifts from Mass today.

May you find acceptable to you, Lord, the offering of our lives on this day commemorating the saintly joy of Mary Magdalene for it was her obedient and profound love that your beloved Son so graciously accepted unto eternal life.

Gospel John 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.


June 29, 2020 Feast of Saints Peter & Paul

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles – Vigil

Reading 1 ACTS 3:1-10

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate”
every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw the man walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging
at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5

R. (5)  Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day;
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.

Reading 2  GAL 1:11-20

I want you to know, brothers and sisters,
that the Gospel preached by me is not of human origin.
For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it,
but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

For you heard of my former way of life in Judaism,
how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure
and tried to destroy it, and progressed in Judaism
beyond many of my contemporaries among my race,
since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions.
But when God, who from my mother’s womb had set me apart
and called me through his grace,
was pleased to reveal his Son to me,
so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles,
I did not immediately consult flesh and blood,
nor did I go up to Jerusalem
to those who were Apostles before me;
rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus.
 
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem
to confer with Cephas and remained with him for fifteen days.
But I did not see any other of the Apostles,
only James the brother of the Lord.
–As to what I am writing to you, behold,
before God, I am not lying.

AlleluiaJN 21:17

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Lord, you know everything:
you know that I love you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel   JN 21:15-19

Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples
and, when they had finished breakfast, said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time — June 21, 2020

Temporary Mass Schedule as we gradually return to community Masses

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:00 Noon
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 8:00 AM
Sunday Vigil 5:00 PM Saturday
Sunday Morning 10:00 AM

You can fulfill your duty of weekly worship
on any of the seven days of the week

TODAY’S PRAYER FROM MASS

You have the power, almighty Lord, to combine in us a life based upon an everlasting foundation of reverential fear and love of your holy name. You have revealed to us that you never deprive of your guidance in life those whom you have fixed firmly in the pathway of your covenant love.

COMMENT
Fear and love — these two aspects of life are sometimes placed in opposition in our way of thinking. How can you be afraid of someone who loves you? Sometimes, too, the whole Bible is thought to contain two stages: Old Testament teaches a God to be feared; New Testament a God of love. This does not adequately describe our God. He is a God to be feared in a reverential way because of his greatness and at the same time he is a God whose greatness shines forth most of all in his love and mercy. This Mass prayer puts the two together. That is the Church’s request of the Lord during our Eucharistic gathering today. We seek from the Lord both a reverence and respect for his name (for the God that he is) as well as a deeper love of his name (the divine Father who loves us as sons and daughters). So fear and love properly understood can go together. The last sentence of this prayer spells out the reason this will take place as he shows us that he truly is a Father who guides our life toward eternal communion with him.
By entering into God’s family at prayer and adoration of him at the Eucharistic table our faith life is deepened by a more conscious awareness of the tremendous power and majesty of God and a more heartfelt return of love of such a Lord who saves us by adopting us as his sons and daughters. Fear and love are a sacred combination of what the Lord makes us and our lives in Christ.

 

Prayer for the Renewal of Covenant Love

Through your gift of Covenant love, O Lord, you have opened our hearts to welcome your Son to dwell within us by being baptized into his Church community and enlivened and strengthen by his Holy Spirit as to what you have made us so that we can better answer your call to gather for the Eucharist. Unable to join the body of Christ at this time to celebrate the redemption of your people, we beseech your merciful love to enlarge our hearts so to welcome your presence all the more and that of your Son and the Holy Spirit so that we may give you thanks always and everywhere as befits your name. Open our ears, O Lord, to your word, both spoken and lived. Through your Holy Spirit make our daily lives more in the image of your Son who is the perfect example of your eternal Covenant so that we may soon join his body, the Church, to burst forth in praise of you at the Table of the Lord, sharing his Body and Blood, and to advance with all your faithful people toward your kingdom of heaven, bound together with you and your holy ones in your one family. Make firm that unity of your Church in answer to your Son’s prayer that we be one so that the world come to know your presence here and know that you are always with us. Through Christ our risen Lord. Amen

 

SUNDAY—JUNE 7,2020—FEAST OF THE HOLY TRINITY

Temporary Mass Schedule as we gradually return to community Masses

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:00 Noon
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 8:00 AM
Sunday Vigil 5:00 PM Saturday
Sunday Morning 10:00 AM

You can fulfill your duty of weekly worship
on any of the seven days of the week

HOME PRAYERS AND REFLECTIONS

Prayer to Begin

God, our Father, so much did you want to reveal the admirable mystery of your life to us that you sent into the midst of mankind the Word of your truth and the Spirit of your holiness. You have declared this mystery to us and gifted us with the faith to profess the glorious wonders of your Trinitarian life existing for all eternity so that we adore the unity of your majesty in all its power.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit for ages unending. Amen.

(See readings below on this homepage for the Solemn Feast of the Holy Trinity)

Some brief thoughts about the scriptures of this day:

Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
to God who is, who was, and who is to come

Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9

The Lord calls Moses back up to the top of Mount Sinai after he smashed the original two tablets of the Commandments. While in his God’s presence the Lord once again (as he did in the burning bush) he reveals his name Yahweh which means God is with his people and describes himself in the famous phrase as  a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity. This name and description will remain with God’s people for all ages to come.

Canticle Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56 (52b)
Glory and praise for ever!

This is part of the prayer of praise by the three men in the fiery furnace who were being persecuted for their faith. They praise their God who is merciful and faithful to his Covenant. By the way they survived the ordeal to praise the glory of God all the more for saving them.

2 Corinthians13:11-13

Saint Paul was a follower of Jesus through and through so much so that he spread the Good News about Christ throughout the world. He was a great teacher and wrote letters back to the faith communities which he founded. Here today he concludes his letter with a greeting we use at Mass: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.  This Trinitarian formula is a greeting but also a blessing upon his people showing that Father, Son and Spirit all dwell within us for our eternal salvation — Christ’s favor, the merciful love of the Father and the friendship and companion ship of Christ’s  Spirit isi with us.


John 3:16-18

It is only within the whole of Chapter Three that this short passage gives us its meaning. This is where Nicodemus comes to Jesus because he recognizes that Jesus comes from God. In the conversation Jesus tells him that he must be born from above by water and the Spirit. It is in this context that Jesus tells of the interrelation of Father, Son and Spirit. He reveals here the complete plan of God to raise man to share in his heavenly life. Jesus, the Word made flesh, is the culmination of God’s plan to bring the Covenant to fulfillment. All of this stems from God’s lasting and faithful love of all mankind. We have been given the revelation how this is brought to completion in God’s Son, born to us.


TOWARD A HOMILY FOR TRINITY SUNDAY

 

Usually when we come to a special feast throughout the year there is something unique about the celebration that day. Today for the Feast of the Holy Trinity we find so many familiar elements of our liturgy which we have used on previous Sundays. For example, we begin with In the name of the Father. and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit as we do every Sunday. Every Eucharistic celebration involves Father, Son and Spirit —we worship the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. So why do we have a Sunday dedicated to the Divine Trinity?
We have just completed the Easter Season in which we praised God for raising his crucified Son to his right hand and glory. This is the fullness of what God has in store for us. By being at the “end” we come to realize the whole plan that is laid out before us. So we now clearly have God’s “goal” for us — to share in God’s interior life in the family of the Trinity, i.e. eternal life.
The eternal life, according to God’s ways, in which we shall share in its fullness later is already upon us and therefore it will show up in our daily lives here on earth. So this Feast of the Holy Trinity is really for us to grasp more fully God’s love in what he has done for us and spur us on to live that life more authentically not just for our own benefit but for the benefit of those around us.
To help us in this regard the Lord gathers us together today around his table to worship him for his magnificent love in dwelling within us and so uniting us to brothers and sisters of ours in the same faith and the same calling to eternal life. We are going to spend a lot of time with them for all eternity.
So how do we want our lives to change for the better?
In the bulletin today I told you about three attitudes that Pope Francis teaches us to cultivate in our lives so as to share fully in the our Sunday Masses:
1) Be a person who gives thanks — always and everywhere
2) Be a person who lives a life of self-giving —giving of oneself freely and without expecting anything in return – to both God and man.
3) Be a person who builds communion and Christ like relationships within the Church and with everyone in the human family.
This is a good day to examine our consciences on these three matters. Do I find myself more and more frequently saying thanks to God and to others? Do I have an attitude of “me first” rather that “how can I help you”? Am I concerned and am ready to work for the good of the Church and for the peace and prosperity of those in need materially and spiritually?
A positive response to these questions in our lives will go a long way to giving us a greater share in the mystery of the Eucharist which we celebrate.

Let us conclude with the Lord’s Prayer and this Prayer of Renewal of the Covenant and the Apostles’ Creed. Jesus who is the fulfillment of God’s plan for us taught us this prayer himself. The Covenant which God made with us long ago is the fullness of the divine life we are to share with Father, Son and Spirit.

Our Father

Through your gift of Covenant love, O Lord, you have opened our hearts to welcome your Son to dwell within us by being baptized into his Church community and enlivened and strengthen by his Holy Spirit as to what you have made us so that we can better answer your call to gather for the Eucharist. Unable to join the body of Christ at this time to celebrate the redemption of your people, we beseech your merciful love to enlarge our hearts so to welcome your presence all the more and that of your Son and the Holy Spirit so that we may give you thanks always and everywhere as befits your name. Open our ears, O Lord, to your word, both spoken and lived. Through your Holy Spirit make our daily lives more in the image of your Son who is the perfect example of your eternal Covenant so that we may soon join his body, the Church, to burst forth in praise of you at the Table of the Lord, sharing his Body and Blood, and to advance with all your faithful people toward your kingdom of heaven, bound together with you and your holy ones in your one family. Make firm that unity of your Church in answer to your Son’s prayer that we be one so that the world come to know your presence here and know that you are always with us. Through Christ our risen Lord. Amen
.
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 will 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 life everlasting. Amen.


SATURDAY — June 6, 2020

Temporary Mass Schedule as we gradually return to community Masses

 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday  12:00 Noon

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 8:00 AM

Sunday  Vigil 5:00 PM Saturday

Sunday Morning 10:00 AM 

 

You can fulfill your duty of weekly worship

on any of the seven days of the week

See readings below for the Solemn Feast of the Holy Trinity

Wednesday — June 3, 2020

 

Temporary Mass Schedule as we gradually return to public Masses

Monday, Wednesday, Friday  12:00 Noon

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 8:00 AM

Sunday  Vigil 5:00 PM Saturday

Sunday Morning 10:00 AM

 

The “Golden Sequence” of Pentecost is a prayer for every day of the year

Here it is again

 

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

 

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

And from your celestial home

Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!

Come, source of all our store!

Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;

You, the soul’s most welcome guest;

Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;

Grateful coolness in the heat;

Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,

Shine within these hearts of yours,

And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,

Nothing good in deed or thought,

Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;

On our dryness pour your dew;

Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;

Melt the frozen, warm the chill;

Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore

And confess you, evermore

In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;

Give them your salvation, Lord;

Give them joys that never end. Amen.

PENTECOST SUNDAY — MAY 31, 2020

Words bout the WORD
Saint Gabriel
Pentecost Sunday
May 31, 2020

 

Acts 2:1-11

There were years of the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost before the first Christian Pentecost of which we heard God speak today. In those earlier observances the faithful Israelites gathered from near and far to praise God in one body for the giving of the Covenant Law at Mount Sinai. This took place fifty days after the other great Feast of Passover. So it was a day to commemorate and share in the wondrous display of God’s love in leading his people in the way of life that would be their salvation — the Commandments of the Lord.

The disciples of Jesus, now fifty days since his resurrection, were gathered as one in the Upper Room. Reminiscent of the theophany of Sinai God revealed his presence in the great noise of wind and flame. This presence of God revealed itself in tongues of fire descending upon each and every one of them so much so that the Spirit of God came upon them and dwelt within them. These unusual events happened in the morning and startled the numerous faithful Israelites in the City. Peter appears before the crowd and explains that God by his action was fulfilling his promise through the prophets of old to place his very Spirit within the hearts of his people so that they would live the Covenant to the fullest. All of this came about through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and was to spread throughout the world through the mission given by Christ to go out to all the world and bring the Good News. Peter’s listeners, many of them, accepted God’s word and were joined to “the Church” through baptism. God was in the midst of his people working his salvation in this world.

 

Responsorial Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34 (cf. 30)

Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

 

The Holy Spirit of God is sent to us by the Father and Son. The Spirit then is a gift from God. Just as a gift does not become a gift unless it is both given and received (welcomed), so the gift of the Holy Spirit must be taken into our hearts and that we must show God and the world that his Spirit resides in us by the way we live. The first way we show this is by praising and giving thanks to God for what he is doing for us. That is what this psalm is. Every line is a proclamation and acclamation of God’s greatness. We accept the gift of the Spirit this day by making this psalm our own. So together with the Church we are united in singing God’s praises. We have only a few lines here. The whole psalm is one of those poetic masterpieces of the Bible. Thanks be to God for handing this on to us. Mean every word of it. You will have to repeat it several times to get the full impact of it.

 

Bless the LORD, O my soul!

O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!

How manifold are your works, O Lord!

the earth is full of your creatures;

 

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;

may the LORD be glad in his works!

Pleasing to him be my theme;

I will be glad in the LORD.

 

If you take away their breath, they perish

and return to their dust.

When you send forth your spirit, they are created,

and you renew the face of the earth.

 

Alternate version of today’s Collect/Gathering Prayer

This very day, Lord of all creation, in this celebration of the mystery of Pentecost you bring heavenly holiness to your Church among all peoples and in all nations of the world. Send out the gifts of the Holy Spirit over the vast expanse of your creation and maintain in the hearts of believers the work of your faithful covenant love which you brought forth at the beginning of the preaching of the Good News of salvation.

 

1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13

God is the one God and Creator and Redeemer of his people. The marvelous wisdom of God and love of his creation shines forth in the fact that in his creatures is a great variety. All are not identical in every respect. The miracle of God’s ways is that he is able to bring his creation together to form his people into a unity which keeps us in awe of him. He does this through his gift of the one Spirit of Jesus. In man’s small way of thinking he mistakenly thinks that he will be greatest when he chooses to go his own way — he creates his own world. But God wants his creatures to be like himself united as one, sharing the delights of the community of divine love. By freely choosing this way of life and following it man is at his greatest, loving others on God’s terms. This plan of God can be seen in the Lord building us into a “Church” — the body of Christ with it diversity and unity. This is what Paul captures in this reading. He rightly attributes this unity to the presence of the one Holy Spirit. Pentecost reveals the unity of the Church. That is why the appropriate manner of joining in this God-given unity is the Eucharist as we share in the one Christ and his one Spirit.

 

 

Sequence

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

 

Come, Holy Spirit, come!

And from your celestial home

Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!

Come, source of all our store!

Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;

You, the soul’s most welcome guest;

Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;

Grateful coolness in the heat;

Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,

Shine within these hearts of yours,

And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,

Nothing good in deed or thought,

Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;

On our dryness pour your dew;

Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;

Melt the frozen, warm the chill;

Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore

And confess you, evermore

In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;

Give them your salvation, Lord;

Give them joys that never end. Amen.

 

John 20:19-23

Pentecost Sunday is a time of rejoicing. This we see in the reaction of the disciples when the risen Christ appears to them on that first Easter evening. Their first question was whether they were seeing the real Christ that they knew so well. He showed them the wounds of his suffering which were what caused his death but he was alive, walking about as the days of old. But there was something different. Christ was acting like God when he created Adam. He was breathing his Spirit into them. In accepting God’s life the disciples were accepting the mission Jesus was entrusting to them. It may seem to be an unusual commission — forgive, bring the world to reconciliation with God. Can they really carry this out? Yes, if God’s breath (the Spirit) is within them. This is what Jesus preached from the very beginning right after the Spirit descended upon him at his baptism. The loving and forgiving God is here. Turn to him. Let him love you by renewing his Covenant among you. This is the peace Christ has brought and does so today.

 

FRIDAY OF THE SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 29, 2020

 

Saint Gabriel’s is gathering once again for daily Mass. The pandemic has caused us to modify temporarily the Mass schedule so that we can observe the restrictions and make Mass more available for the whole Parish.

To help us in this regard the bishops have extended our weekly Mass obligation to all seven days since the seating capacity of the church is greatly reduced. It is necessary that more people come on other days of the week than Sunday so we can accommodate everyone at least once a week. Changing your regular Mass attendance to a different day of the week than Sunday is an act of charity to the others.

There is daily Mass but according to a different schedule. This is temporary until we can have our regular Sunday gatherings

So temporarily our seven day Mass Schedule is:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

 

The Feast of Pentecost and the conclusion of the Season of Easter is coming soon.

This Feast rivals Easter in its abundant scriptures passages.

The Pentecost Vigil Mass has extensive possible readings

Commentary on those readings coming soon.

 

WEDNESDAY OF THE SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 27, 2020

 

Saint Gabriel’s is praying again as a Church
There is daily Mass but according to a different schedule.
This is temporary until we can have our regular Sunday gatherings

 

So temporarily our seven day Mass Schedule is:

The bishops have extended the Lord’s Day obligation to all seven days.
Unless we spread out our attendance during the week, you may find the church “full” on Sunday (the Vigil Mass too) and unable to get into the building because of the distancing and seating restrictions. Please plan ahead to come a different day.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

The Ascension of the Lord is the summation of our Easter Joy.

Easter Sunday was only the beginning of the unveiling of all that the Lord gives us in raising Jesus from the dead.

Therefore let us take another look at the word of God for last Sunday and the revelation of the joy to which God has been leading us. It will also open up for us the power of his love in the coming Feast of Pentecost.

 

 

Here is an extended commentary on the scriptures for the Feast of Ascension.

Acts 1:1-11
While the Apostles looked on, Jesus ascended his throne.

For a long time we have learned that when we listen to a scripture passage we constantly question whether we have God speaking of this in other parts of the Bible. It is amazing how frequently this occurs to our delight and the revelations God is consistently giving us as a reward for listening closely to his word. We take delight in this and should. As our mind wanders as we hear an echo of what has gone before some of our earlier understanding of his word is replaced by a more profound grasp of his mystery and a corresponding greater joy at the magnificence of God’s wisdom and love.

The Ascension of Christ in many ways is not new, not because we have heard it every year on this feast but because the word of God is working within us drawing closer and closer to fullness of life he has promised us. Here are a few words from this reading that stand out: forty days, kingdom of God, Holy Spirit, men of Galilee, God disappeared when the cloud was taken from their sight… Let us see how good our memories are.

FORTY DAYS — forty days in the desert in Old Testament times in preparation of entering the Promised Land; Jesus’ forty days in the desert in preparation for his public ministry; for forty days Jesus instructed his disciples on the mission he entrusted to them of going to all the world.

KINGDOM OF GOD — Jesus began his ministry by preaching the kingship of God; the psalms seat the Lord on his kingly throne in heaven; the “three kings” come adore the new-born king of the Jews; the placard above Jesus on the cross read Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews; Old Testament prophecy that the kings of the earth will all and worship the one King of heaven and earth.

BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT — Jesus told of being baptized by water and the Spirit; John the Baptist compared his water baptism to the baptism in the Spirit by the coming Messiah; Pentecost would reveal to the world that the disciples of Jesus were immersed in God’s Sprit.

MEN OF GALILEE — the Jewish leaders disparaged the Apostles as unlearned men who came from Galilee; the men of Galilee in today’s passage show an outstanding wisdom and love of God in their following of Christ both before and after his resurrection.

CLOUD TAKEN FROM THEIR SIGHT — the cloud representing God was on Mount Sinai and the Mount of Transfiguration — a good way to speak of the spiritual God who speaks to us through the scriptures.

All these scripture references come from Luke’s Ascension account. How they and God’s word throughout the Bible enrich our understanding of the Mystery of our Lord’s “ascending.” How little we knew in our early years when we pictured the ascension as nothing more that Jesus rising above the earth out of our sight — flying so to speak.

 

Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (6)
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

One of the faith statements associated with the Ascension of the Lord is that he is now seated at the right hand of the Father. This is an expression of God the Father sitting on his royal throne as King of all his creation and that he has given his Son raised to glory to sit in kingly fashion tohis right. This imagery takes us back to the coronation ceremony of the Israelite.  kings. This psalm fits into that mode. A closer examination reveals some noteworthy details. Even though there were earthly kings of Israel the Lord Yahweh, maker of the Covenant, was the actual King of his people. The earthly king was representative of God as King among his people. So this psalm is based on that fact and the praise of the King was an acclamation of God as King and on this Feast the kingship of the Christ is being acknowleged as well. In a true sense this is the Feast of Christ the King. An added aspect of Christ’s sharing in the kingship of his Father was that he is King ot just of the Israelite people but of all peoples in the world. He is the King of the “nations.” This is behind Jesus saying preach the Gospel to all the world. So the psalm says: All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness. So the extent of the kingship of the risen Lord reaches to the ends of the earth until the end of time. No one is exempt from the rule of the Christ of glory. All the world is to give glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Son’s Spirit.

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 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.

 For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.

Collect

Lord God, in your almighty power and love, we beg of you to give us the gift of your sacred joy as we offer you thanks as a sign of our religious devotion to you. This day in raising your Son to your right hand in glory as Head of his body, the Church, you afford us the undying hope that whither the Head has gone, we, his body, will follow.

 

The teachings of the Church on her role as the Mystical Body of Christ is more than a nice theological theory. It is actively going on and we are prat of it. It has meaning for everyday life. It is taking place right now. We are never separated from Christ and his body, the Church. So this Gathering Prayer at Mass is about what is taking place in the Eucharistic banquet. These Collect Prayers are not in the middle of nowhere. They really have a powerful significance as the Body of Christ is gathered with Christ its Head. It is a true “communion” throughout the Mass. That is why being at Mass and participating in it is such a wonderful gift left to us by Christ so that our communion with him can be seen and realized as a source of his saving blessings.

Through the divine power of the Father, then, Christ’s action really touches us and becomes a great joy for us so that we give thanks to God for being so loving and great. There is a divine promise contained in what Christ is doing for us at Mass that we become of people of hope. That hope is ours that some day we shall be with Christ is in heaven. That hope comes from the time spent in communion with Christ during this celebration.

 

Ephesians 1:17-23
God made his Son sit at his right as coregent

 

The Ascension of the Christ does not just concern what the Father has done for him but included in raising Jesus to his right hand are we, his followers, the Church. The Ascending of Jesus means we have a “mission” from him. We are forever associated with him in glory and have been sent forth to bring the Good News to all mankind. The body of Christ, the Church, both Head and members, are to bring the fullness of salvation to the world. Christ taking his place at the right hand of the Father makes us one with him in the work of salvation. This is the message of our passage today. The whole first chapter needs to be read in that light. The sacred author gives us a summary of the whole plan of his love for us all.

To sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth. In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will.

This will show that this Mystery of the Ascension is something that happens not only to Christ but also to us as the “commissioning” in the Gospel teaches. The role of the Church is not something that stands apart from Christ. Without the risen Lord the Church is no more than a mere human society with earthly goals. This, too, makes it very clear that we constantly must be in Christ’s presence and join him in the sacred work of the Father, i.e. gathering for the Eucharist.

Matthew 28:16-20
All power has been given me both in heaven and on earth

Once again it needs to be said that each of the Gospel accounts of the Ascension (and the accounts of the resurrection) has its own approach and must be seen in its own context. Be careful not to read into this one elements from the others, e.g. the forty days. You will not find that mentioned in Matthew. In fact, in Matthew’s account the word ascension does not appear at all.

The commissioning of the disciples and the consequent union of Christ and his disciples is emphasized. Be sure to note that in the commissioning Jesus first says: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Then I am with you to the end of the ages. God’ s power is with us in carrying out the work of the Church. Human power alone could not accomplish Christ’s command to go to all the world. Baptism is our entrance into the Church and being associated with the risen Christ in his mission to all mankind. Through baptism we enter into the communion or covenant of the heavenly Triity — which is our salvation.

One last point: Matthew ends his Gospel the way he began with the phrase I am with you until the end of time. Emmanuel is the Hebrew word or name meaning God is with us. At the announcement of the birth of Christ Matthew cites the coming of Christ as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy that the child to be born is Emmanuel, God is with us (Matthew 1:23).

 

TUESDAY OF THE SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER — MAY 26, 2020

 

Until further notice our temporary weekly Mass Schedule is:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — 12:00 PM noon;
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday — 8:00 AM;
Sunday — 5:00 PM Vigil on Saturday evening and 10:00 AM Sunday morning.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

 

The Ascension of the Lord is the summation of our Easter Joy.

Easter Sunday was the beginning of the unveiling of all that the Lord gives us in raising Jesus from the dead.

Therefore let us take another look at the word of God for last Sunday and the revelation of the joy to which God has been leading us. It will also open up for us the power of his love in the coming Feast of Pentecost.

Scripture Commentary coming soon.