Mary’s offers a proclamation of praise in her Magnificat, as she glorifies God and offers thanks for the blessings she has received. May we echo her words as we call to mind in our prayer and daily practice how the Lord has touched our hearts and fostered our faith.
St. Paul’s example in Corinth reminds us that every moment of our day offers opportunities to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. People are always watching and listening; what is the message they receive from us today?
The challenges that Paul and Silas encountered in Philippi reveal the pattern that all Christians face throughout life. Yet the strength we need to meet these trials comes not from our efforts alone; we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to face what comes our way.
About this time of year students experience transition. The academic year is coming to a close, classes are wrapping up, papers are written and exams taken. It is a time where one can clearly see change: teachers and classmates conclude their studies and look to new opportunities and experiences in the summer.
For some it might be work; others might attend summer school; still others might experience a move to a new location. Change takes many forms, but through it all some key points emerge:
Opportunity to apply learning to life
The Feast of the Ascension is one such moment of profound change in the early Church. Rejoicing with one another over the Resurrection, the apostles were flying high – the Lord is risen! In this moment of enthusiasm and hope, the Lord (truly in the role of Teacher) shares with them a new lesson – it’s time to change and grow.
Now they are the ones who must teach; they are the ones chosen to proclaim the Good News; through their efforts the Holy Spirit will empower them to heal and drive out demons. Simply put, the Ascension of Jesus clears the way for the disciples to apply the Lord’s teaching in their own lives as they continue Christ’s mission in the world.
We are part of that mission. We received our faith from those who came before us, and today we have an opportunity to proclaim the Good News to those in our lives. Here are some thoughts:
Family – who often see us in unguarded moments
Friends – sustained and strengthened by our efforts
Coworkers – witness our character and conviction
Classmates – supported and encouraged in learning
Neighbors – perceive our actions and effort
Strangers – 1st impressions that point to Christ
Enemies – encounter justice and mercy with forgiveness
The Good News takes many forms, and in our moments of transition we are given new opportunities to act. May the Ascension of our Lord inspire us to look for change in our own lives and seek ways where we can live joyful lives as disciples of Jesus Christ!
A 2018 Nielsen report shows that Americans now spend over 11 hours a day looking at a screen. Eleven hours! Fr. Andrew’s parishioners are familiar with his annual “Summer Challenge,” and he offers some thoughts here about what we can to ditch the screen time and embrace hundreds of alternative activities that are good for body, mind, heart, and soul.
Jesus assures us that the Holy Spirit will be sent to bring peace to our hearts. Where do we see the need for peace in our lives today? May we turn to the Lord who longs to offer this grace to face whatever we find in the world today.
The Lord offers a sobering lesson in John’s Gospel that when we follow the God’s command to love, the result at times will be hatred from the world. Our response? Love….but with both eyes open so that we can address this hatred with the grace of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of John offers a beautiful insight into the dignity of love that God grants to humanity. Jesus calls us friends, elevating us to a glorious relationship with God, and empowers us to offer the gift of our lives with this precious grace.
This short passage from John’s Gospel reveals the interaction between the command to love and the gift of joy. While love often challenges us to stretch our hearts as we care for others, the joy we receive flows straight from the heart of heaven.