Tag Archives: Ascension

The Ascension of the Lord: Christ is present to all. Catholic Inspiration

Through the Ascension of the Lord we now look to Christ who is present to all people in all time and space for the grace we need to face the challenges of life.  Be not afraid!  Rather, draw strength from Jesus and engage life with the joy of the Good News.

Mass Readings – The Ascension of the Lord

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


The Ascension of the Lord

Study:  Reflect on a moment of profound change in your life.  What lessons did you learn?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for guidance to proclaim the Good News in your current situation.

Serve:  Do you know someone who is experiencing great change right now?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

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:

  • New People
  • New Locations
  • 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!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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Note: This blog was originally published on May 12, 2015.


The Ascension of the Lord. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – The Ascension of the Lord

We say in the creed, “He ascended into Heaven” yet we often do not consider what that means for our lives here on earth:

  • Where are we going?
  • What are we doing?
  • How are we doing it?

With Heaven as our home we can evaluate and review our words and actions in preparation for the day when the Lord calls us to follow Him from this world to the next.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


The Ascension of the Lord

Sunset

Study:  Transitions are a time of uncertainty.  Consider a time when you experienced a transition: how did it feel?  How did you face it?

Pray:  When faced with the unknown we come to the Lord for direction.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will send both wisdom (to know what to do), and strength (so you can do it).

Serve:  Who in your life is alone right now.  How might you walk with another in a time of transition and uncertainty?

Mass Readings – The Ascension of the Lord

There are moments in life when it is difficult to say good-bye.  Whether it is a relocation through work, the completion of school, or the death of a loved one, we know that these events challenge us to move on with the transitions in life.

The Feast of the Ascension marks one of these transitions in the Church.  This feast demands that we ask the question, “Now what?” as the Lord is taken from our midst.  The disciples must now discover the new ways that God is at work in their lives – especially now that Jesus is no longer with them.

But unlike other transitions, where people pass out of our lives and are separated from us by physical distances or death, Jesus leaves his disciples in a different way.  By ascending into heaven he does not move out of our lives, but rather he comes into contact with all life.  Through his ascension the Holy Spirit comes upon all people, and Jesus touches our lives in a new and mysterious way.

The mystery of the Ascension is closely connected to the Resurrection of Jesus.  The early Church recognized that the saving work which God did through Jesus included both of these events.  We say in the Creed, “…he rose from the dead…(and) ascended into heaven…” in the same breath – for these two events show that the Lord’s work is unlike anything else ever done before.

Through his Resurrection, death and sin no longer have power over Jesus Christ; his sacrifice on the Cross offers hope for the whole world.  Through his Ascension, all people can know Jesus and the Spirit; taken up to heaven, the Lord is now present to all people regardless of time or space.

This feast reminds us that Christ does not abandon his people.  The Lord is near, and we enjoy his presence even though we cannot touch him as the disciples did.  We know that God walks with us, and we trust that the Lord will give us the strength to carry out the mission of the gospel through the transitions we face in this life.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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This blog was originally published on May 5, 2013.


The Feast of the Ascension – Catholic Inspiration

graduation

Fr. Andrew’s Ascension Homily Podcast

Feast of the Ascension Readings

This time of year marks a major transition for many students: graduating from formal schooling and beginning a new experience.  This practical cycle of human life finds a parallel with the Ascension – where the disciples are now empowered by the Lord to continue his ministry.

Three Great Things


Jesus_ascending_to_heaven

Study:  Think about a major transition in your life.  Who helped you?

Pray:  Where do you see opportunities for growth in your life?  Ask the Lord for guidance and strength.

Serve:  Is there someone you are mentoring right now, or someone who would benefit from your help?  How might you help them grow?

Feast of the Ascension Readings

Over the years of my own priesthood, I have come to cherish the Feast of the Ascension.  Consider these “steps” in the mission of the Lord:

  1. Birth – the Incarnation, in which Jesus becomes the bridge between Heaven & Earth
  2. Teaching – the Lord’s ministry of teaching & healing with the disciples
  3. Passion & Death – the saving sacrifice where Jesus offers his life for us
  4. Resurrection – Christ’s triumph over sin and death, once for all
  5. Ascension – Christ now leaves his disciples so that they can continue his work
  6. Pentecost – where Christ asks the Father to send the Holy Spirit to empower the Church

The Ascension – in which the disciples saw the Lord ascend into Heaven – is thus a crucial aspect of Christ’s mission.  Everything before the Ascension was part of God’s plan of salvation, and now the early Church must begin to continue this mission in a new way.

Think about it.  This feast is a moment when the Church has to start growing up!  It’s about walking on your own, putting into practice what you’ve been taught, and learning to do for yourself what others formerly did for you.

We see this in life.  Parents teach and care for their children so that they can one day be independent and live on their own.  Teachers work with their students and rejoice when their academic work takes them to new opportunities far beyond the classroom.  Coaches and mentors spend countless hours with youth to help them mature into adulthood.  This process is good, blessed, and wholesome.

And it’s hard.  Let’s be clear: empowering people to grow up also means that they often take flight and leave us.  They move on, and we must face the challenges of letting them go so they can grow: parents watch their kids move away; teachers watch their students pass on to the next grade; coaches say farewell at the end of a season.

Yet this process – with all it’s blessings and burdens – is the way we develop as persons.  It’s the journey that strengthens us so that we can mature into the full stature of our life in Jesus Christ.  The Lord’s grace is meant to transform us, and while this is seldom easy, it is always done with heavenly help.

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Ascension, John Singleton Copely, 1775, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


Ascension of the Lord – Navigating Change – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Ascension of the Lord Homily Podcast

This homily was given on May 16, 2015 at St. William Church in Foxboro, WI.

Change and transition are part of human life as seen in graduations, new jobs, relationships, and situations.  Like the Apostles on this feast, we can face our changes by keeping in mind three basic concepts:

  • Observation – looking & listening to our new reality
  • Reflection – by ourselves, with others & God’s guidance
  • Application – putting our thoughts into action

As the Apostles embraced their transitions the Holy Spirit empowered them to change the world.  May we continue to open our hearts to the Spirit and face the changes that come before us.