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Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
Ascension A
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Ascension A
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Ascension A

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Dear brothers and sisters,

We are commissioned to communicate God's salvific message. If you are quiet about God's Word, think again your Christian vocation, because you are not doing well.

Fr. Cielo

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  • 1. Welcome to our Bible Study Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension A 45th World Day of Social Communications 1 June 2014 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 2. 1st reading: Acts 1:1-11  1 In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught 2 until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 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. 4 While meeting with 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; 5 for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the holy Spirit." 6 When they had gathered together they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. 8 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." 9 When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. 10 While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. 11 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." The focus is on the ascension of the Lord.
  • 3. 1st reading: Acts 1:1-11 Recalling the gospel  1 In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught 2 until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. Jesus after resurrection  3 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. Jesus before ascension  4 While meeting with 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; 5 for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the holy Spirit."  6 When they had gathered together they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. 8 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." Jesus’ ascension  9 When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. The Angels  10 While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. 11 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." A simple outline!
  • 4. 1st reading: Acts 1:1-11 Recalling the gospel  1 In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught 2 until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. Jesus after resurrection  3 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. Commentary  V.1 recalls Luke’s first book, the gospel.  The gospel is about the deeds and teachings (words) of Jesus till his ascension. V.2  The addressee is Theophilus. He must be a good reader. He is not a man on the street, but a man of high reputation (Oh excellency, Lk 1,3).  V.3 describes the activities of Jesus:  He proves to be alive  He appears to the apostles during 40 days  He preaches the kingdom of God.
  • 5. Jesus before ascension  4 While meeting with 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; 5 for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the holy Spirit."  6 When they had gathered together they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. 8 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  In v.4, Jesus commands his disciples to stay put in Jerusalem and to wait for the promise (the Holy Spirit).  Within a few days (50 days), they will receive the Holy Spirit.  V.5 recalls the baptism of John. It was with water.  When Jesus was baptized, he received the Holy Spirit.  V.6 reveals still the nationalistic (patriotic) tendency of the apostles.  The restoration of the kingdom of Israel (something like that of the Hasmoneans, freedom from the Greeks), this time freedom from the Romans.  In v.7, Jesus does not reveal the time of their narrow nationalism/freedom. They are not entitled to know the times and seasons (chronos or kairos, both Greek words are used)… ordained by God.  In v.8, Jesus is more interested in their reception of the power of the Holy Spirit and their being witnesses.  Their scope: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and ends of
  • 6. Jesus’ ascension  9 When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. The Angels  10 While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. 11 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."  V.9 briefly describes the ascension of Jesus.  Take note that like the crucifixion and resurrection, the author does not write many details about it.  V.9 contains “theological passive” (he was lifted up). The actor is understood as God.  V.10 presents two men (maybe angels) in white garments. (They first appear in Lk 24,4 at the tomb.)  In v.11, they address themselves to the apostles calling them as “men of Galilee.” They know where the apostles come from.  They inform the apostles that Jesus is taken up to heaven and will return to them in the same way as they have seen him go up to heaven.
  • 7. Reflections on the 1st reading  Jesus’ ascension signals the end / completion / perfection of his earthly presence.  Mission accomplished. No unfinished agenda.  For the apostles, his ascension means standing by until they receive the Holy Spirit.  After the Holy Spirit descends on them, missionary work now begins.  They will do exactly what Jesus did (preaching, healing, and forgiving).  For us, Christians, ascension means continuation of the works of the apostles, since we have received the Holy Spirit.  Do you know your mission?
  • 8. Resp. Ps 27:1, 4, 7-8  R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.  1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?  4 One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple.  7 Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call; have pity on me, and answer me. 8 Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
  • 9. Resp. Ps 27:1, 4, 7-8  R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.  1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?  4 One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple.  7 Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call; have pity on me, and answer me. 8 Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks. Commentary  The psalmist must be troubled and in need of help.  In v.1, the psalmist articulates his faith in God as he takes refuge in him.  God is my light and my salvation.  V.4 contains the prayer of the Psalmist:  To dwell in God’s house, to gaze on God’s loveliness and to contemplate  In v.7, the psalmist pleads to God that he may hear him, have mercy on him.  V.8 tells us of the psalmist’s preoccupation (God).
  • 10. Reflections on the Psalm  Like the psalmist, we must seek God when in trouble.  It is important to have a sacred space, where we can commune with God (chapel, room, temple, church, field).  We, Christians, must learn how to pray well.  We pray when we recognize our poverty, inadequacy and incompetency.  We cannot pray well if we are in the state of denial.
  • 11. 2nd reading: Ephesians 1:17-23  17 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. 18 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, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, 20 which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, 21 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. 22 And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
  • 12. 2nd reading: Ephesians 1:17-23  17 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. 18 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, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, 20 which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, 21 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. 22 And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way. The focus is on wisdom and knowledge from the Lord.
  • 13. 2nd reading: Ephesians 1:17-23  17 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.  18 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, 19 and  what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might,  20 which he worked in Christ,  raising him from the dead and  seating him at his right hand in the heavens, 21 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.  22 And he put all things beneath his feet  and gave him as head over all things to the church,  23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way. Text indented for easier reading.
  • 14. 2nd reading: Ephesians 1:17-23  17 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.  18 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, 19 and  what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might,  20 which he worked in Christ,  raising him from the dead and  seating him at his right hand in the heavens, 21 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.  22 And he put all things beneath his feet  and gave him as head over all things to the church,  23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way. Commentary  Vv.17-18 express the wishes of the author to the Christian believers:  That God may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation…  that the eyes of your hearts be enlightened.  The end result of his wishes:  that you may have knowledge of him // that you may know… What?  Future hope, riches, greatness of us who believe  The wonders God has done to his Son  He raised from the dead  He seated him at his right hand  He put all things under his feet  He made him head over all to the church, his body
  • 15. Reflections on the 2nd reading  The author wishes well the Christian believers.  Jesus is now in heaven (since he has ascended).  We, Christians, must know what is in store for us.  We, too, will join Jesus in his glory.  The Christ, we are believing in, is not an ordinary being.  He is pre-eminent among all beings.  What kind of Christ are you worshipping?  Are you stuck up with the Christ Crucified?  We must not trivialize Christ, by being a lousy disciple, without energy and enthusiasm, in front of our loved ones and people of other religions.
  • 16. Gospel reading: Matthew 28:16-20  16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. 18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
  • 17. Gospel reading: Matthew 28:16-20  16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. 18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." The focus is on the great commissioning of the apostles.
  • 18. Gospel reading: Matthew 28:16-20 The 11 apostles in Galilee  16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Jesus’ commissioning  18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Jesus’ assurance of presence  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." A simple outline!
  • 19. Gospel reading: Matthew 28:16-20 The 11 apostles in Galilee  16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Jesus’ commissioning  18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Jesus’ assurance of presence  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Commentary  Matthew has a different view on the ascension of Jesus.  The ascension happens in Galilee. We don’t know the exact spot where Jesus ascended into heaven. V.16  Luke assigns Jerusalem (at Mt. Olivet) as the place of ascension.  In the first readings (Acts 1,4), Jesus forbids his disciples to go to Galilee. They stay put in Jerusalem until they receive the holy Spirit.  V.17 indicates the disciples’ response at the sight of him: they worshipped, they doubted  The commissioning starts with Jesus’ acknowledgment of all power given him. V.18  “Heaven and earth” is merismus, meaning all, everything.
  • 20. Gospel reading: Matthew 28:16-20 The 11 apostles in Galilee  16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Jesus’ commissioning  18 Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Jesus’ assurance of presence  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."  In v.19, Jesus is transferring to them his full powers to make disciples of every race /nation known at that time.  This is done through:  Baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity  Teachings to observe commandments. V.20  In v.20b, Jesus assures them of his spiritual presence until the end.
  • 21. Reflections on the gospel reading  Before Jesus goes up to heaven, he commissions his disciples.  We, Christians, are also sent to make disciples of Christ.  We must not forget two important tasks:  Baptizing (catechizing the prospects, incorporating them into our Christian community)  Teaching (explaining who Christ is and the proper behavior of a believer, following up the baptized)  Disciples must be intelligent and must have a strong sense of community (Church).
  • 22. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm  The first reading explicitly talks about the ascension of Jesus.  The psalm talks about taking refuge in God.  The second reading talks about the greatness of Jesus (who has ascended into heaven).  The gospel reading is about the command of Jesus to make disciples (after his ascension). We must develop the theme of ascension along with apostleship (sent with a commission).
  • 23. How to develop your homily / sharing  What is the meaning of Jesus’ ascension into heaven?  For Jesus, it is the end of his earthly presence.  There will be no more appearances, no more teachings, preachings and healings on the part of Jesus.  The Holy Spirit is close at hand.  For the apostles, it is the beginning of the mission.  Now, the apostles have to roll up their sleeves and keep busy.
  • 24.  The gospel reading talks about the mission of the apostles.  The apostles are to multiply / reproduce the disciples of the Lord by baptizing them.  Even if they do not have any formal training on missiology, the 11 apostles will exert effort to sell Christ.  We, too, are commissioned, by virtue of our baptism, to make good Christians and teach them how to center their lives on Christ.
  • 25.  The second reading tells us who Christ, the one commissioning, is.  He is a big man. God worked hard with him to save us. Christ is an accomplisher. He delivered the services expected of him.  Christ is a missionary par excellence.  As his true witnesses, we can share in his dedication, mission and destiny.  Jesus’ ascension signals that there is something to hope for, somewhere, after faithfully doing our mission.  How many people have you encouraged to live their faith?
  • 26.  The first reading challenges us to focus our attention on our fellow human beings and to invite them to become Jesus’ disciples.  We can better do our mission, by being down to earth (being realistic), rather than, by looking up in the sky (being idealistic).  We can do this if we are living in the now: if we accept people considering their present concerns, and not to look for what is non- existent.
  • 27.  We, Christians, of today are commissioned missionaries (apostles) of our own times.  We have better facilities now. We can do more, if we make use of them.  We have new challenges because of the new situations, cultures, mentalities facing our people today.  In the church, there is no place for idle talks, for backbiting, recalling old bad experiences, rather, let us discern on how best we can respond to God’s call.  As Christians, who love the Church and Christ, we waste no time doing nothing, but do our share in God’s work.  The ascension of Jesus enjoins us to do our part, in giving witness to the kingdom of God, to make disciples.
  • 28.  The eucharist celebrates the ascension of the Lord.  The eucharist is a living memory of Jesus, who ascended into heaven.  The eucharist is a celebration that binds us, disciples, together in mission until the end of times.  If we love the eucharist, we will feel compelled to encourage others to receive the same.
  • 29. Our Context of Sin and Grace  Hopelessness  Missionless  Purposeless  Visionless  No sense of responsibility in Church  No sense of a better future  Uncommitted  Abuse of technology  Active Missionaries  Christian Responsibility  Discipleship  Faith in Heaven  Catechists  Bible Facilitators  Pastoral Workers  Witnessing to Christ  Proper and regulated use of technology
  • 30. Suggested Songs  Maghandog ng Alay  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPws8drK4MA

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