THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Psalm: Ps 46:2-3. 6-9.
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23
Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the ASCENSION OF THE LORD. Year A - Sunday, May 28, 2017 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-easter-ascension
We keep in our prayers and thoughts the people of Manchester, in the United Kingdom, after the devastating terrorist attack on young and innocent lives. Our prayers are for all people affected. We also pray to the Lord for Peace in the hearts and minds of all people, and for a profound and absolute respect for human life and dignity. May the Lord come to the aid of all people affected, through the kindness and love of those around them.
“The Ascension of Christ is his liberation from all restrictions of time and space. It does not represent his removal from earth, but his constant presence everywhere on earth.” (William Temple).[i] That is, Christ is now present and active in the world in a new and even more effective way-- freed from the limitations of being merely in a particular place at a particular time only.
There is a cartoon that I found (above) that really sums up the heart of God’s invitation to us all; an invitation for us to participate fully in his life and in his love.(*) I remember a similar cartoon from the Charles Shultz series, The Peanuts gang” (from many years ago)… I think it was Linus and Lucy sitting on a hill looking at sunset… and Lucy asks.. “Why did God allow people to be hungry and poor? Why doesn’t he do something about it?” To which Linus replies.. “he DID do something about it. He asked US to go and help them, and we didn't" !!!
“A woman saw a little girl in the street playing in the midst of filthy rubbish. The child was poorly dressed and ill-nourished.
The woman became angry and said to God: "Why do you let a thing like that happen in the world you created? Why don't you do something about it?" - To this question, God replied: "I did do something about it; I created you."
That story invites me to ask myself: How seriously do I take Jesus' command to transform our world into the kind of place God created it to be?”[iii]
In this gospel we have heard today….. it is Galilee which is the main setting of Jesus' preaching, a subtle touch seeking to emphasise the identity between the historical Jesus and the risen Christ. The encounter is very simple. There are no dramatic elements to make this moment spectacular. It is our Lord and master, continuing to teach and instruct.[iv]
The disciples receive their mission in Galilee, a marginalized region, close to the pagan world and, as a result, an area viewed with contempt by the practising Jews of Judea where Jerusalem is located. The proclamation of the gospel starts from an insignificant and despised land. This is not just a matter of geography; it is highly significant. It serves as an example. For us today, Galilee is the world of the poor and the marginalised. This is our starting place to proclaim the gospel to everyone without exception. We will do that with the conviction that the Lord will always be with us (Mt 28:20).[v]
Fr Paul W. Kelly
[i] VISION – PRAYING SCRIPTURE IN A CONTEMPORARY WAY. YEAR A. BY MARK LINK S.J. P.154
[iii] VISION – PRAYING SCRIPTURE IN A CONTEMPORARY WAY. YEAR A. BY MARK LINK S.J. P.154
[iv] SHARING THE WORD THROUGH THE LITURGICAL YEAR. GUSTAVO GUTIERREZ. p/107
[v] SHARING THE WORD THROUGH THE LITURGICAL YEAR. GUSTAVO GUTIERREZ.p. 108
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ASCENSION OF THE LORD. Year A
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.
Ascension I p.27
Eucharistic Prayer III p.58
Go in peace. Alleluia, Alleluia !