Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Ascension of ChristImage via Wikipedia

“The meaning of Christ’s Ascension,” writes Pope Benedict XVI, “expresses our belief that in Christ the humanuity that we all share has entered into the inner life of God in a new and hitherto unheard of way. It means that man has found an everlasting place in God.” It would be a mistake to interpret the Ascension as “the temporary absence of Christ from the World.” Rather, “we go to heaven to the extent that we go to Jesus Christ and enter into him.” Heaven is a person: “Jesus himself is what we call ‘heaven.’”

Magnificat, June 2011 issue, p. 44

One item of importance: all dioceses, with the exception of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia, celbrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord on the Seventh Sunday of Easter rather than, today, Thursday. My post will reflect the Solemnity of the Ascension rather than the Sixth Thursday of Easter.

Anyway, on with some information about the Ascension of Our Blessed Lord from the always reliable Catholic Culture:

At the end of His earthly life Jesus ascends triumphantly into heaven. The Church acclaims Him in His holy humanity, invited to sit on the Father’s right hand and to share His glory. But Christ’s Ascension is the pledge of our own. Filled with an immense hope, the Church looks up towards her leader, who precedes her into the heavenly home and takes her with Him in His own person: “for the Son of God, after incorporating in Himself those whom the devil’s jealousy had banished from the earthly paradise, ascends again to His Father and takes them with Him” (St. Leo).


READ THE BIBLE AT MASS


First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
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 the 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.”

R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

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.
or:
R. Alleluia.

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.
or:
R. Alleluia.

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.
or:
R. Alleluia.



Second Reading: Eph 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:

May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Gospel: Mt 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”


THE ASCENSION
Besides the hope and the joyful expectancy of heaven so characteristic of the Ascension feast there is a note of melancholy. Before the final departure of Jesus, the Apostles must have been very much disturbed: each felt the distress of one who sees his dearest friend and companion going away forever, and finds himself alone to face all the difficulties of life. The Lord realized their state of mind and consoled them once more, promising the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter: “He commanded them,” we read in the Epistle (Acts 1:1-11), “that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father… you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit, not many days hence.” But even this time the Apostles did not understand! How much they needed to be enlightened and transformed by the Holy Spirit, in order to accomplish the great mission which was to be entrusted to them! Jesus continued “You shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me … even to the uttermost part of the earth.” For the moment, however, they were there, around the Master, weak, timid, frightened, like little children watching their mother leave for a distant, unknown land. In fact, “while they looked on, He was raised up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Two angels came to distract them from their great amazement and to make them realize what had happened. Then, placing their trust in the word of Jesus, which would henceforth be their only support, they returned to Jerusalem where, in the Cenacle, they awaited in prayer the fulfillment of the promise. It was the first novena in preparation for Pentecost: “All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with … Mary, the Mother of Jesus” (ibid. 1:14).

Silence, recollection, prayer, peace with our brethren, and union with Mary: these are the characteristics of the novena we too should make in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Excerpted from Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.



Things to Do:

  • We continue the novena to the Holy Spirit which is said between the feast of the Ascension and Pentecost Sunday.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year


Novena to the Holy Spirit
The Novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the original novena, of which all other novenas are only imitations. Our Lord Himself instituted this novena when, on the day of His ascension, He sent His Apostles back to Jerusalem to pray for nine days that they might be ready on the tenth day, which was Pentecost, to receive the Holy Spirit.

First Day

Holy Spirit, Lord of light, From they clear celestial height, Thy pure beaming radiance give.

Let us pray

O God who hast taught the hearts of thy faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolations. Through Christ our Lord. Amen


Second Day

Come thou father of the poor, Come with treasures which endure, Come thou light of all that live.

Let us pray

O Holy Spirit, thou father of the poor, come fill my poverty-stricken soul out of the plenty of they eternal riches. Warn me, I beg thee, of every opportunity in my daily round of duty, to lay up treasures where no thief approacheth nor moth corrupteth, that I may enjoy them together with thee forever. Amen


Third Day

Thou of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.

Let us pray

O Divine Consoler, and of all Comforters the best, to thee do we come in trouble and distress. Do thou, in the all-powerful name of Jesus, our Redeemer, and out of love for Mary, our sorrowful Mother and they chaste Spouse, come to our assistance and comfort us in all our trials and tribulations. Amen


Fourth Day

Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, Solace in the midst of woe.

Let us pray

O God, who didst give the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, grant to they people the effect of their pious prayers, that on those to whom thou hast given grace, thou mayest also bestow peace. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen


Fifth Day

Light immortal, light divine, Visit thou these hearts of thine And our inmost being fill.

Let us pray

May the Paraclete, who proceedeth from thee, enlighten our minds, we beseech thee, O Lord; and even as thy Son hath promised, may he lead us into all truth. Amen


Sixth Day

If thou take thy grace away, Nothing pure in man will stay; All his good is turned to ill.

Let us pray

Send down, we beseech thee, O Lord, the Holy Spirit in his might, to the merciful purifying of our hearts and to our sure deliverance from all danger. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen


Seventh Day

Heal our wounds, our strength renew; On our dryness pour thy dew; Wash the stains of guilt away.

Let us pray

Burn up, O Lord, our reins and our hearts in the fire of the Holy Spirit; that chaste of body and clean of heart, our service may be well pleasing to thee. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen


Eighth Day

Bend the stubborn heart and will, Melt the frozen, warm the chill, Guide the steps that go astray.

Let us pray

Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, come into our hearts; give to all peoples the brightness of they light, that they may be well pleasing to thee in unity of faith. Amen


Ninth Day

Thou on those who evermore, Thee confess and thee adore, In they sevenfold gift descend.
Give them comfort when they die Give them life with thee on high, Give them joys which never end.

Let us pray

Send down upon us, we beseech thee, O Lord, the Holy Spirit, that, inspired and encouraged by him, we may comply with the duties of our state, carry our daily crosses patiently, and grow daily in Christian perfection. Grant us, we beseech thee through the same Divine Spirit, the intentions of this novena or what is most conducive to our eternal salvation and they glory.
Amen
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