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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Ascension Thursday


Malachi, Chapter 3, verse 19-21
19 For the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble, And the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. 20 But for you who fear my name, the sun of justice will arise with healing in its wings; And you will go out leaping like calves from the stall 21 and tread down the wicked; They will become dust under the soles of your feet, on the day when I take action, says the LORD of hosts.

We should pray today for those who use drugs and we should pray for our country which is also in a drug induced stupor. Likewise today, I ask you to pray for the souls of those who die from cancer and for their families. Our world nowadays is full of cancers in our education, government, labor management, and in our media. Our Lord asks us to not be afraid. He asks us to go out and proclaim His name. We can change the world! We can all become bearers of Christ by becoming a Christopher.[1]


Ascension Day[2]

Forty days after Easter, our Lord ascends into heaven. The Paschal candle is extinguished.

Today we celebrate the occasion of Christ being taken up into heaven to be with the Father and to intercede for us.

For forty days after His resurrection, Jesus remained with His disciples, to convince them of the truth of His resurrection, to teach them in regard to His kingdom, that is, His Church, and their vocation; and as they were still thinking of an earthly kingdom to be established by Christ, He referred them to the instruction of the Holy Ghost, and then ascended to heaven, whence He shall come to be our judge. Rejoice over the instructions which are preserved for you through the Church; but rejoice especially that Jesus has taken possession of the glory gained by His most profound humiliations, for now He is there an intercessor for you; there He prepares for you a mansion; there is now your home. To-day look up to heaven where Christ is, hope, suffer, love, and pray.


Ascension Plays[3]

In the early centuries the Church celebrated the Feast of the Ascension with elaborate processions that imitated Christ's conducting His Apostles to Bethany (Lk. 24.50). Eventually, however, these liturgical processions became nonliturgical pageants, and the pageants, in turn, became plays. Ascension Thursday was a day for special effects. This could happen in a dignified way during the Mass, as when in Germany the priest would lift a crucifix during the Gospel at the words, "He was taken up into heaven," or it could happen in a dramatic way after Mass with a theatrical representation of the Ascension event. Statues of the risen Christ would be hoisted by pulleys into the air and then either concealed by white silk representing clouds or pulled through an opening in the ceiling. The audience would then be showered with roses, lilies, and wafers. The flowers symbolized the various gifts of the Holy Spirit promised by Christ before He left, while the wafers reminded all that Jesus is still present to us in the Blessed Sacrament.

Ascension Thursday[4]

Ascension commemorates the day that Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:1-11) after spending 40 days appearing to his disciples after his resurrection.  The disciples thought Jesus was going to restore the earth to the Kingdom of Heaven, but instead, as he promised to send the Holy Spirit to give them power, he ascended into Heaven and disappeared in a cloud.  Ascension is the 40th day after Easter, celebrated on the sixth Sunday of the Easter season in Protestant churches and on the 40th day after Easter in Roman Catholic churches.


Ascension Facts & Quotes

·         The Apostle's Creed, one of the statements of faith in the Christian Church, mentions Jesus' ascension:
·         I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. The third day he rose from the dead.  He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
·         An ancient custom in England, called the Beating of the Bounds, is often performed on or near Ascension.  Before maps, this was the day that people would mark the boundaries of their property with stones marked with chalk.  Some English churches still perform the custom, led by the vicar.  Church members carry sticks to wick at weeds as they process.
·         In the Orthodox tradition, celebration of the Jesus' Ascension starts with an all-night vigil or vespers (evening) service beginning on Saturday.
·         Jesus' ascension into heaven does not mean his absence, but that he is alive among us in a new way, close to each one of us.  - Pope Francis via Twitter on 4/17/2013

Ascension Top Events and Things to Do

·         Johann Sebastian Bach wrote several pieces related to both Easter and the Ascension.  Listen to Bach's the Ascension Oratorio, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen (Praise God in His Kingdoms) on YouTube.
·         Go bird watching.  A custom in Sweden, is to get up early in the morning of Ascension and venture out into the woods to listen for the call of a cuckoo.  It is considered good luck to hear one on this holiday.
·         Go to church and learn about why Jesus' ascension is important to the Christian faith.  Jesus is considered to be both human and divine, and the ascension is an illustration of Christ's divine nature.
·         View paintings that depict the ascension.  One of the most famous works is The Ascension Of Christ by Rembrandt Van Rijn.

Preparing for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit[5]

On Ascension Day the Lumen Christi is taken from the dining room table to signify that the Lord has ascended. In the days when the Faith was flourishing, the Sunday after the feast of the Ascension was called "The Sunday of the Roses," the name given from the custom of strewing the pavements of the churches with roses, as an homage to Christ who ascended into heaven when the earth was in the season of flowers. Why cannot we in our day have roses in our homes, make an offering of flowers to our church, or take roses from our gardens to one infirm or sick? Here are some prayers and meditations to be said in the family between the Ascension and Pentecost Sunday.

Prayer:

Meditations before Pentecost

One of the simplest ways we have found for young children to prepare for Pentecost is by meditating on the mysteries of the Chaplet of the Holy Spirit. We reflect on one mystery a day.

Opening Prayer: Sign of the Cross-Act of Contrition

First Mystery: Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary.
Meditation: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. Therefore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God (Luke 11:35).
Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

Second Mystery: The Spirit of the Lord rests upon Jesus.
Meditation: When Jesus was baptized, He immediately came up from the water. And behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a Dove and coming upon Him (Matthew 3:16). Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

Third Mystery: Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert.
Meditation: Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit about the desert for forty days, being tempted the while by the devil (Luke 4:11). Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

Fourth Mystery: The Holy Spirit in the Church.
Meditation: Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak of the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:2, 4, 11). Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

Fifth Mystery: The Holy Spirit in the souls of the Just.
Meditation: Or, do you not know that your members are the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Do not extinguish the Spirit. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Thess. 5:19; Eph. 4:30).
Prayers: One Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry



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