"I meet you, O Christ, face to face. I see you in your Sacraments." Saint Ambrose (Photo of Haditha Dam, Iraq.)
Thursday, May 9, 2013
The Solemnity of the Ascension: "The Lord Jesus was taken up"
Acts of the Apostles 1, 1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1, 17-23; Mark 16, 15-20
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
" 'So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.' (Mk 16,19)
"Christ's body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys. (Cf. Lk 24:31; Jn 20:19, 26) But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity. (Cf. Acts 1:3; 10:41; Mk 16:12; Lk 24:15; Jn 20:14-15; 21:4)
"Jesus' final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God's right hand. (Cf. Acts 1:9; 2:33; 7:56; Lk 9:34-35; 24:51; Ex 13:22; Mk 16:19; Ps 110:1) Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul 'as to one untimely born,' in a last apparition that established him as an apostle. (1 Cor 15:8; cf. 9:1; Gal 1:16).
Christ is seated at God's right hand, from whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. And how shall we live while separated from the Lord of glory by this earthly life? By faith.
"Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. (Cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:36; 6:40) 'Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]' and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life "but he who endures unto the end" ' (Cf. Mt 10:22; 24:13 and Heb 11:6)" (CCC 161)
"God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church." (CCC 1)
"So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel: '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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.' (Mt 28:18-20) Strengthened by this mission, the apostles 'went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.' (Mk 16:20)" (CCC 2)
The Lord continues today to "work with" the Apostles in their successors, the bishops, who proclaim in union with Peter the orthodox catholic faith that comes to us from the Apostles. We reach eternal salvation by this one orthodox faith. All of our thoughts, words and actions should be conformed to the holy faith, should draw life from it, and build it up. ( See also CCC 977, 183, 1507, 659)
I look forward to meeting you here again as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick
MCITL 10th Anniversary: The Catechism and Scriptures together in the Sunday homily
"The integration of elements of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the readings from the Lectionary offers us an opportunity to demonstrate how the Word of God is able to animate our personal and communal life with Christ and, at the same time, articulate the Church’s faith that has been immeasurably enriched by the living tradition of twenty centuries."-- Archbishop Donald Wuerl, intervention at the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God