Thursday 26th may 2022
The Ascension of the Lord
St. Philip Neri
(1515 – 1595)
He was born in Florence in 1515. At the age of eighteen he went to Rome, and earned his living as a tutor. He undertook much-needed charitable work among the young men of the city, and started a brotherhood to help the sick poor and pilgrims.
Entrance Antiphon : Acts 1: 11
Men of Galilee, why gaze in wonder at the heavens? This Jesus whom you saw ascending into heaven will return as you saw him go, alleluia.
Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : Acts 1:1-11
In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. When he had been at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. What you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth.’ As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’
R/ God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast.
- All peoples, clap your hands, cry to God with shouts of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, we must fear, great king over all the earth.
- God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast. Sing praise for God, sing praise, sing praise to our king, sing praise.
- God is king of all the earth, sing praise with all your skill. God is king over the nations; God reigns on his holy throne.
Second Reading : Ephesians 1:17-23
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers. This you can tell from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.
Gospel Acclamation : Mt 28:19,20
Alleluia, alleluia! Go, make disciples of all the nations. I am with you always; yes, to the end of time. Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 24:46-53
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this. ‘And now I am sending down to you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high.’ Then he took them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Now as he blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven. They worshipped him and then went back to Jerusalem full of joy; and they were continually in the Temple praising God.
Prayer over the Offerings
We offer sacrifice now in supplication, O Lord, to honour the wondrous Ascension of your Son: grant, we pray, that through this most holy exchange, we too, may rise up to the heavenly realms. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Mt 28: 20
Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, alleluia.
Prayer after Communion
Almighty ever-living God, who allow those on earth to celebrate divine mysteries, grant, we pray, that Christian hope may draw us onward to where our nature is united with you. Through Christ our Lord.
Ascension comes from the Latin ascendere, which means to ascend. Indeed, to say that Christ ascended to the Father is more theological than geographical. Taken in a literal sense, it could mean that he dwells in the clouds. The Ascension would be better translated as the day of the end of Jesus’ physical manifestation to his apostles. He has been forming them for three years and considers them mature enough to continue on their own the mission of going out to make disciples, teach them and baptise them in the name of the Trinity. Their testimony will be credible if and only if it remains faithful to the witness of Christ. The Apostles were expected to be witnesses to what they had learnt from Jesus during the time spent together. This preaching through witnessing was to be “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus affirms this so powerfully in the Gospel of today: “You are witnesses to this” (Luke 24:48).